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THE ENGLISH WORKS OF 
GEORGE HERBERT 

IN SIX VOLUMES 
II 



A PRIEST 


• To the 


TEMPLE 


OR, 


TheCountrey Parson 


HIS 


CHARACTER,! 


AND 


Rule of Holy Life. 


The A u T H a R 5 

'^ i r- r^ TIT 



M!g,H. 



I J 



^#4^ 



LONDON, 

Printed by t, Mdxty for T. Gdrtbmit^ at the 
j little North door of S^F^m/V. i6$z. 



THE e:n^glish works of 

EDITED BY GEORGE HERBERT PALMER 



VOLUME TWO 
PROSE 




BOSTON AND NEW YORK 

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 

MDCCCCV 



COPYKIGHT 1905 BY GEORGE HERBERT PALMER 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

THIS LARGE-PAPER EDITION IN SIX VOLUMES 

IS LIMITED TO 150 COPIES 

PRINTED FROM TYPE AT THE RIVERSIDE PRESS 

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., U.S.A. 

NO. /^^ 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 
VOLUME II 

HERBERT'S PROSE WORKS 

THE COUNTRY PARSON page 1 

CORNARO ON TEMPERANCE 135 
VALDESSO'S DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 163 

LETTERS 191 

HERBERT'S WILL 217 

NOTES < 221 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 
VOLUME II 

Title-Page of The Country Parson frontispiece 

Portrait of Louis Cornaro page 134 

Title-Page of The Temperate Man 142 

Ferrar's Church at Little Gidding 162 

Interior of Ferrar's Church 216 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 



PREFACE 

THIS piece first appeared in 1652, in a volume 
entitled Herbert's Remains, or Sundry 
Pieces of that Sweet Singer of The Temple, 
Mr. George Herbert. With it were printed the 
Jacula Prudentum (already published in 1640, 
and here dated 1651), Herbert's two Prayers, his 
Letter to Ferrar (already published in 1638 
with Ferrar's Translation of Valdesso), two Latin 
poems addressed to Bacon and one to Donne, 
and an Addition of Apothegmes by Severall 
AuTHOURS. The volume contained also A Pre- 
fatory View of the Life and Virtues of the Authour 
and the Excellencies of this Book, by Rev. Bar- 
nabas Oley. Oley (1602-1686) was for a time 
President of Clare Hall, Cambridge, was ejected 
from his Cambridge Fellowship by the ParHament, 
for over fifty years was Vicar of Great Gransden, 
Huntingdonshire, and Prebendary of Worcester 
Cathedral for twenty-five. He was an ardent 
Royalist, an extreme High Churchman, a friend of 
Nicholas Ferrar, and a rambling, heated, naively 
attractive writer. In 1671 he pubhshed the first 
separate edition of The Country Parson, with 
a new Preface. 



4 . PREFACE TO 

In both editions the book has a double title: A 
Priest to the Temple: or The Country Par- 
son, His Character and Rule of Holy Life. 
But only the second of these titles has been gener- 
ally used, the first being tacitly dropped. Walton 
approves the usual title thus in 1670 : "That 
Mr. Herbert might the better preserve those holy 
rules which such a priest as he intended to be ought 
to observe; and that time might not insensibly 
blot them out of his memory, but that the next 
year might show him his variations from this 
year's resolutions; he therefore did set down his 
rules then resolved upon in that order as the world 
now sees them printed in a little Book call'd The 
Country Parson ... a Book so full of plain, 
prudent, and useful Rules that that Country Par- 
son that can spare 12 d. and yet wants it is scarce 
excusable." Herbert himself seems to sanction 
this second name, and to be ignorant of any other. 
He opens thirty-four of the thirty-seven chapters 
with the words The Country Parson, printed in 
capitals. And though throughout the book he 
uses the word spriest as freely as he does ^pastor or 
minister, it nowhere has the prominence of The 
Country Parson. I suspect, therefore, the title A 
Priest to the Temple is a happy invention of Oley's. 
When he edited the book, six editions of The 
Temple were already in circulation. Apparently 
hoping that the popularity of the poems might 
help to float the prose, he emphasized the relation- 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 5 

ship. Walton, however, and most modern writers 
have preferred the more exact designation. 

That Herbert intended pubUcation is evident 
from his words in The Authouk to the Reader, 
dated 1632. Why the book remained so long un- 
published is unknown. One might suppose the 
delay due to a behef that so vivid a picture of a 
punctihous priest would be unwelcome and unsal- 
able at a season of Puritan domination. But the 
time of its unopposed and successful issue was the 
culmination of the Puritan triumph, three years 
after the execution of the King, and a year before 
Cromwell became Protector. Oley's long first 
Preface, devoted more to abuse of Puritanism than 
to description of Herbert, seems to have aroused 
no hostility. The causes of delay must, therefore, 
have been of a private nature. 

There are two hardly reconcilable accounts of 
the history of the manuscript. Walton writes in 

1670, "At the death of Mr. Herbert this Book fell 
into the hands of his friend, Mr. Woodnot ; and he 
commended it into the trusty hands of Mr. Barna- 
bas Oley, who pubHsht it." But in his Preface of 

1671, Oley states that it is his design " to do a Piece 
of Right, an office of Justice to the Good man that 
was possessor of the Manuscript of this Book and 
transmitted it freely to the Stationer who first 
printed it. He was Mr. Edmund Duncon, Rector 
of Fryam-Bamet." If we accept this account of 
Oley's, it would seem that the volume of Herbert's 



6 PREFACE TO 

Remains was edited by Duncon, and that Oley's 
work was confined to preparing the Preface. 

The book has throughout a certain double aim. 
Like Herbert's poetry, The Country Parson is 
primarily a study of his own conditions. It is 
written to ease and clarify his own mind and to 
regulate his future conduct. But in these condi- 
tions of his own he also perceives universal types, 
and so is led, in almost scientific fashion, to codify 
his experience for public use. I have already re- 
marked the low estimate which in Herbert's time 
was put upon the ministry of the Church of Eng- 
land, especially on the country ministry. Herbert, 
having disappointedly accepted this, will make 
the utmost of it, developing all its capacities, and 
showing how it may become a *field fit for intelli- 
gent, energetic, stately, and holy living. As usual, 
he looks at it with his own eyes, and treats it as 
a field hitherto unexplored. He regards himself 
as laying the foundations of a novel science, and 
hopes that those who come after him may add to 
those "points which I have observed untill the Book 
grow to a compleat PastoralL Every feature of the 
country minister's life is accordingly studied. 
Nothing is counted trivial. Each slightest habit 
may help or hinder the Parson's aim of reducing 
Man to the Obedience of God. The humorous under- 
standing of the stolid countryman here displayed ; 
the keenness and range of vision in detecting 
modes of access to him ; the interest, zeal, and 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 7 

sense of dignity employed in his pursuit; the 
poetic beauty of the quotations of Scripture; the 
readiness to carry principles into homely detail; 
and the abihty to sketch the outlines of an entire 
life from a single point of view, give the book a 
unique power and adaptability. It is doubtful if 
the same number of pages in any modern volume 
will bring to the country minister of to-day an 
equal amount of ennobhng good sense. Changes 
in behef, in social usage, in civihzation itself have 
not antiquated this ardent, candid, original, and 
solid Uttle treatise. 

Such a work, however (as indeed the words 
just quoted from Herbert's Preface imply), is at 
no time complete. It cannot, therefore, possess 
shapely structure. Herbert is not attempting here 
to fashion a rounded work of art. Like Bacon, he 
is gathering observations. Whatever new aspects 
of the Parson's business present themselves are 
successively added, and such additions may go on 
indefinitely. The book is, therefore, without clear 
plan. Its scheme was not fixed beforehand. Prob- 
ably, like most of Herbert's writings, it was still 
growing when death supphed it with an end. Yet 
it is far from chaotic. After discriminating the 
work of the Country Parson from that of other 
pastors, Herbert takes up the conditions of success 
in the Parson's own nature, then his duties in re- 
lation to the Church services, to the people of his 
parish, to men in general, and finally considers 



8 PREFACE TO 

cases of conduct where, though there is no clear 
duty, tactful and devout treatment will yield re- 
sults which would be missed by carelessness. In 
Oley's editions the table of contents is printed 
so as to divide the chapters into related groups of 
three or four each. This method of printing I 
preserve, though I regard the suggested divisions 
as too minute and without precise boundaries. 

Every reader of The Country Parson must 
be struck with the contrast between its neat style 
and the intricacy of the poems. This book is 
drawn up for a business purpose; accordingly it 
is written plainly, instructively, and in a thoroughly 
manly fashion. Here are no affectations. Few 
sentences occur whose full m.eaning will not be 
gained at a glance, few where any felicity of phrase 
diverts attention from the matter. Often there is 
skill in bringing out dehcacies of thought, but the 
long Unked sentences run swift and straight, and 
are guided rather by the reader's needs than by 
the writer's emotions. In this plainness and in- 
sistent rationality there is charm. A reader does 
not begin one of these pithy chapters without con- 
tinuing to the end. 

A piece of writing so lucid has small need of 
comment. Mine hardly extends beyond marking 
changes in the meaning of words. Like Herbert 
himself, I wish to withdraw attention from the 
form and fix it upon the substance. Parallel pas- 
sages in the poetry I do not cite. They are noted 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 9 

in my commentary on the poems. Only when a 
whole poem deals with a subject discussed here, 
have I referred to it. 

Other annotators of The Country Parson 
are R. A. Willmott in his single volume of Her- 
bert's works, pubHshed by Routledge; A. B. Gro- 
sart in his three quarto volumes in the Fuller 
Worthies' Library; and H. C. Beeching in his- 
excellent edition of The Country Parson, pub- 
lished by T. Fisher Unwin. From their notes I 
have brought over whatever I judged helpful. 



THE AUTHOUR TO THE READER 

BEING desirous (thorow the Mercy of God) 
to please Him for whom I am and Hve, and 
who giveth mee my Desires and Performances, 
and considering with my self That the way to 
please him is to feed my Flocke diligently and 
faithfully, since our Saviour hath made that the 
argument of a Pastour's love, I have resolved to 
set down the Form and Character of a true Pas- 
tour, that I may have a Mark to aim at; which 
also I will set as high as I can, since hee shoots 
higher that threatens the Moon then hee that aims 
at a Tree. Not that I think, if a man do not all 
which is here expressed, hee presently sinns and 
displeases God, but that it is a good strife to go as 
farre as wee can in pleasing of him who hath done 
so much for us. The Lord prosper the intention 
to my selfe, and others who may not despise my 
poor labours, but add to those points which I 
have observed untill the Book grow to a compleat 
Pastorall. 

Geo. Herbert. 
1632. 



A TABLE OF CONTENTS TO THE 
COUNTRY PARSON 



Chap. 



1. 0/ a Pastour - - - - 


- p. 15. 


2. Their Diversities 


. - p. 17. 


3. The Parsm's life - 


- p. 19. 


4. Knowledges _ . - 


- p. 21. 


5. Accessary Knowledges 


- p. 24. 


6. The Parson Praying 


- p. 26. 


7. Preaching - - - - 


- p. 29. 


8. On Sundays _ _ _ 


- p. 34. 


9. His State of Life 


- p. 37. 


10. Zn his hoitse - - - 


- p. 41. 


11. r^e Parson s Courtesie - 


- p. 48. 


12. Chanty - - - - 


- p. 50. 


13. C/ii^rc^ - - - - 


- p. 53. 


14. The Parson in Circuit 


- p. 55. 


15. Comforting - - - - 


- p. 59. 


16. A father - - - - 


- p. 61. 


17. 7n Journey - - - 


- p. 62. 


18. InSerdinell 


- p. 64. 


19. In Reference - - - 


- p. 66. 


20. 7n God'5 5<ea<i - - - 


- p. 69. 


21. Catechizing - - _ 


- p. 71. 


22. 7n Sacraments - - - 


- p. 76, 


23. T/ie Parson* s Compleatnesse - 


- p. 80. 


24. T^e Parson Arguing 


- p. 85, 



14 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

Chap. 25. Punishing p. 87. 

26. The Parson's Eye - - - - p. 88. 

27. The Parscm in mirth - - - p. 94. 

28. In contempt - - - - p. 95. 

29. With his Church-wardens - - p. 98. 

30. The Parsons Consideration oj Provi- 

dence - - - - - P« 100- 

31. The Parson in Liberty - - - p- 103. 

32. His Surveys - - - - p. 106. 

33. His Library - - - - p. 113. 

34. His Dexterity in applying Reme- 

dies - - - - - P- 116. 

35. Condescending - - - - P- 122. 

36. Blessing p. 124. 

37. Concerning detraction - - - p. 127. 

The Author's Prayer Before Sermmi p. 131. 

Prayer After Sermmi - - - p. 134. 



A PRIEST TO THE TEMPLE : OR, 
THE COUNTREY PARSON, HIS . 
CHARACTER, &c. 

Chapter I 
Of a Pastor 

A PASTOR is the Deputy of Christ for the 
reducing of Man to the Obedience of God. 
This definition is evident, and containes the direct 
steps of Pastorall Duty and Auctority. For first, 
Man fell from God by disobedience. Secondly, 
Christ is the glorious instrument of God for the 
revoking^ of Man. Thirdly, Christ being not to 
continue on earth, but after hee had fulfilled the 
work of Reconciliation to be received up into 
heaven, he constituted Deputies in his place, and 
these are Priests. And therefore St. Paul in the 
beginning of his Epistles professeth this, and 
in the first to the Colossians^ plainly avoucheth 
that he fits up that which is behinde of the afflic- 
tions of Christ in his flesh for his Bodie's sake, 
which is the Church. Wherein is contained the 
complete definition of a Minister. Out of this 
Chartre of the Priesthood may be plainly gathered 
both the Dignity^ thereof and the Duty: The 



16 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

Dignity, in that a Priest may do that which Christ 
did, and by his auctority and as his Vicegerent. 
The Duty, in that a Priest is to do that which 
Christ did and after his manner, both for Doctrine 
and Life. 



Chapter II 
Their Diversities 

OF Pastors (intending mine own Nation only, 
and also therein setting aside the Reverend 
Prelates of the Church, to whom this discourse 
ariseth not) some live in the Universities, some in 
Noble houses, some in Parishes residing on their 
Cures. Of those that hve in the Universities, some 
live there in office, whose rule is that of the Apos- 
tle: Rom. 12. 6. Having gifts differing according 
to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, 
let us prophecy according to the proportion of faith ; 
or ministry, let us wait on our ministring ; or he 
that teacheth, on teaching, &c. he that ruleth, let 
him do it with diligence, &c. Some in a prepara- 
tory way, whose aim and labour must be not only 
to get knowledg, but to subdue and mortifie all 
lusts and affections; and not to think that when 
they have read the Fathers or Schoolmen, a Min- 
ister is made and the thing done. The greatest 
and hardest preparation is within. For, Unto the 
ungodly,' saith God, Why dost thou preach my Laws, 
and takest my Covenant in thy mouth f Psal. 50. 16. 
Those that hve in Noble Houses are called Chap- 
lains, whose duty and obhgation being the same 



18 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

to the Houses they Hve in as a Parson's to his 
Parish, in describing the one (which is indeed the 
bent of my Discourse) the other will be manifest. 
Let not Chaplains think themselves so free as 
many of them do, and because they have different 
Names think their Office different. Doubtlesse 
they are Parsons of the famiUes they live in and 
are entertained to that end, either by an open or 
imphcite Covenant. Before they are in Orders, 
they may be received for Companions or dis- 
coursers; but after a man is once Minister, he 
cannot agree to come into any house where he 
shall not exercise what he is, unlesse he forsake his 
plough and look back. Wherfore they are not 
to be over-submissive and base, but to keep up 
with ^ the Lord and Lady of the house, and to pre- 
serve a boldness with them and all, even so farre 
as reproof e to their very face, when occasion cals, 
but seasonably and discreetly. They who do not 
thus, while they remember their earthly Lord, 
do much forget their heavenly ; they wrong the 
Priesthood, neglect their duty, and shall be so 
farre from that which they seek with their over- 
submissivenesse and cringings, that they shall ever 
be despised. They who for the hope of promotion 
neglect any necessary admonition or reproofe, 
sell (with Judas) their Lord and Master. 



Chapter III 
The Parson's Life 

THE Countrey Parson is exceeding exact in 
his Life, being holy, just, prudent, temperate, 
bold, grave in all his wayes. And because the two 
highest points of Life, wherein a Christian is most 
seen, are Patience and Mortification : Patience 
in regard of afflictions, Mortification in regard of 
lusts and affections, and the stupifying and dead- 
ing of all the clamarous powers of the soul, there- 
fore he hath throughly studied these, that he may 
be an absolute Master and commander of himself 
for all the purposes which God hath ordained 
him. Yet in these points he labours most in those 
things which are most apt to scandalize his Parish. 
And first, because Countrey people live hardly, 
and therefore as feeling their own sweat, and con- 
sequently knowing the price of mony, are offended 
much wnth any who by hard usage increase their 
travell,^ the Countrey Parson is very circumspect 
in avoiding all coveteousnesse, neither being greedy 
to get, nor nigardly to keep, nor troubled to lose 
any worldly wealth ; but in all his words and 
actions slighting and disesteeming it, even to a 
wondring that the world should so much value 
wealth, which in the day of wrath hath not one 



20 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

dramme of comfort for us. Secondly, because 
Luxury is a very visible sinne, the Parson is very 
caref ull to avoid all the kinds thereof, but especially 
that of drinking, because it is the most popular 
vice; into which if he come, he 'prostitutes himself 
both to shame and sin, and by having fellowship 
with the unfruitfull works of darknesse he disa- 
bleth himself of authority ^o reprove them. For sins 
make all equall whom they finde together; and 
then they are worst who ought to be best. Neither 
is it for the servant of Christ to haunt Innes, or 
Tavernes, or Ale-houses, to the dishonour of his 
person and office. The Parson doth not so, but 
orders his Life in such a fashion that when death 
takes him, as the Jewes and Judas did Christ, he 
may say as He did, / sate daily with you teaching 
in the Temple. Thirdly, because Countrey people 
(as indeed all honest men) do much esteem their 
word, it being the Life of buying and selHng and 
deaKng in the world; therfore the Parson is very 
strict in keeping his word, though it be to his own . 
hinderance, as knowing that if he be not so, he 
wil quickly be discovered and disregarded; neither 
will they beleeve him in the pulpit whom they can- 
not trust in his Conversation. As for oaths and 
apparell, the disorders thereof are also very mani- 
fest. The Parson's yea is yea, and nay nay; and 
his apparrell plaine, but reverend and clean, with- 
out spots, or dust, or smell; the purity of his mind 
breaking out and dilating it selfe even to his body, 
cloaths, and habitation. 



Chapter IIII 

The Parson's Knowledg ^ 

THE Countrey Parson is full of all knowledg. 
They say it is an ill Mason that refuseth any 
stone; and there is no knowledg but, in a skilfull 
hand, serves either positively as it is or else to 
illustrate some other knowledge. He condescends 
even to the knowledge of tillage and pastorage, 
and makes great use of them in teaching, because 
people by what they understand are best led to 
what they understand not. But the chief and top 
of his knowledge consists in the book of books, 
the storehouse and magazene of life and comfort, 
the holy Scriptures. There he sucks and Hves. 
In the Scriptures hee findes four things : Precepts 
for life, Doctrines for knowledge, Examples for 
illustration, and Promises for comfort. These he 
hath digested severally. But for the understanding 
of these the means he useth are first, a holy Life ; 
remembring what his Master saith, that if any do 
God's willy he shall know of the Doctrine, John 7; 
and assuring himself that wicked men, however 
learned, do not know the Scriptures, because they 
feell them not, and because they are not under- 
stood but with the same Spirit that writ them. The 



22 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

second means is prayer, which if it be necessary 
even in temporall things, how much more in things 
of another world, where the well is deep and we 
have nothing of our selves to draw with ? Where- 
fore he ever begins the reading of the Scripture 
with some short inward ejaculation, as. Lord, open 
mine eyes, that I may see the wondrous things of 
thy Law, &c.* The third means is a diligent Col- 
lation of Scripture with Scripture. For all Truth 
being consonant to it self and all being penn'd 
by one and the self -same Spirit, it cannot be but 
that an industrious and judicious comparing of 
place with place must be a singular help for the 
right understanding of the Scriptures. To this 
may be added the consideration of any text with 
the coherence thereof, touching what goes be- 
fore and what follows after, as also the scope of 
the Holy Ghost. When the Apostles would have 
called down fire from Heaven, they were reproved, 
as ignorant of what spirit they were. For the Law 
required one thing, and the Gospel another; yet 
as diverse, not as repugnant; therefore the spirit 
of both is to be considered and weighed. The 
fourth means are Commenters and fathers who 
have handled the places controverted, which the 
Parson by no means refuseth. As he doth not so 
study others as to neglect the grace of God in 
himself and what the Holy Spirit teacheth him, 
so doth he assure himself that God in all ages 
hath had his servants, to whom he hath revealed 



fflS KNOWLEDG 23 

his Truth as well as to him; and that as one 
Countrey doth not bear all things, that there may 
be a Commerce, so neither hath God opened or 
will open all to one, that there may be a traffick 
in knowledg between the servants of God for the 
planting both of love and humiHty. Wherfore he 
hath one Comment at least upon every book of 
Scripture, and ploughing with this and his own 
meditations he enters into the secrets of God 
treasured in the holy Scripture. 



Chapter V 
The Parson's Accessary Knowledges 

THE Countrey Parson hath read the Fathers 
also, and the Schoolmen, and the later Writ- 
ers, or a good proportion of all, out of all which 
he hath compiled a book and body of Divinity, 
which is the storehouse of his Sermons and which 
he preacheth all his Life, but diversely clothed, 
illustrated, and inlarged. For though the world is 
full of such composures, yet every man's own is 
fittest, readyest, and most savory to him. Besides, 
this being to be done in his younger and prepara- 
tory times, it is an honest joy ever after to looke 
upon his well spent houres. This Body he made 
by way of expounding the Church Catechisme, to 
which all divinity may easily be reduced. For it 
being indifferent in it seKe to choose any Method, 
that is best to be chosen of which there is hkelyest 
to be most use. Now Catechizing being a work of 
singular and admirable benefit to the Church of 
God, and a thing required under Canonicall obe- 
dience, the expounding of our Catechisme must 
needs be the most usefull forme. Yet hath the 
Parson, besides this laborious work, a shghter 
forme of Catechizing, fitter for country people; 



HIS ACCESSARY KNOWLEDGES 25 

according as his audience is, so he useth one or 
other, or somtimes both, if his audience be inter- 
mixed. He greatly esteemes also of cases of con- 
science, wherein he is much versed. And indeed 
herein is the greatest abihty of a Parson to lead his 
people exactly in the wayes of Truth, so that they 
neither dechne to the right hand nor to the left. 
Neither let any think this a shght thing. For every 
one hath not digested when it is a sin to take some- 
thing for mony lent, or when not; when it is a fault 
to discover another's fault, or when not; when the 
affections of the soul in desiring and procuring 
increase of means or honour, be a sin of covetousnes 
or ambitiony and when not ; when the appetites of 
the body in eating, drinking, sleep, and the pleasure 
that comes with sleep, be sins of gluttony, drunken- 
ness, sloath, lust, and when not, and so in many 
circumstances of actions. Now if a shepherd know 
not which grass will bane, or which not, how is he 
fit to be a shepherd ? Wherefore the Parson hath 
throughly canvassed al the particulars of humane 
actions, at least all those which he observeth are 
most incident to his Parish. 



Chapter VI 
The Parson Praying^ 

THE Countrey Parson, when he is to read di- 
vine services, composeth himselfe to all pos- 
sible reverence : Ufting up his heart and hands 
and eyes, and using all other gestures vi^hich may 
expresse a hearty and unfeyned devotion. This he 
doth, first, as being truly touched and amazed with 
the Majesty of God before whom he then presents 
himself; yet not as himself alone, but as presenting 
with himself the whole Congregation, whose sins 
he then beares and brings with his own to the 
heavenly altar to be bathed and washed in the 
sacred Laver of Christ's blood. Secondly, as this 
is the true reason of his inward feare, so he is con- 
tent to expresse this outwardly to the utmost of 
his power; that being first affected himself, hee 
may affect also his people, knowing that no Sermon 
moves them so much to a reverence, which they 
forget againe when they come to pray, as a devout 
behaviour in the very act of praying. Accordingly 
his voyce is humble, his words treatable'^ and 
slow; yet not so slow neither as to let the fervency 
of the supplicant hang and dy between speaking, 
but with a grave livelinesse, between fear and zeal, 



PRAYING 27 

pausing yet pressing, he performes his duty. 
Besides his example, he, having often instructed 
his people how to carry themselves in divine ser- 
vice, exacts of them all possible reverence, by no 
means enduring either talking, or sleeping, or 
gazing, or leaning, or halfe-kneeling, or any undu- 
tifull behaviour in them, but causing them when 
they sit, or stand, or kneel, to do all in a strait and 
steady posture, as attending to what is done in the 
Church, and every one, man and child, answering 
aloud both Amen and all other answers which are 
on the Clerk's and people's part to answer; which 
answers also are to be done not in a hudhng, or 
slubbering ^ fashion, gaping, or scratching the head, 
or spitting even in the midst of their answer, but 
gently and pausably, thinking what they say; so 
that while they answer. As it was in the heg inning ^ 
&c. they meditate as they speak that God hath 
ever had his people that have glorified him as wel 
as now, and that he shall have so for ever. And the 
Uke in other answers. This is that which the 
Apostle cals a reasonable service, Rom. 12. when 
we speak not as Parrats, without reason, or offer 
up such sacrifices as they did of old, which was of 
beasts devoyd of reason; but when we use our 
reason, and apply our powers to the service of him 
that gives them. If there be any of the gentry 
or nobihty of the Parish who sometimes make it 
a piece of state not to come at the beginning of 
service with their poor neighbours, but at mid- 



28 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

prayers, both to their own loss and of theirs also 
who gaze upon them when they come in, and 
neglect the present service of God, he by no means 
suffers it, but after divers gentle admonitions, if 
they persevere, he causes them to be presented.^ 
Or if the poor Church-wJardens be affrighted with 
their greatness, notwithstanding his instruction 
that they ought not to be so, but even to let the 
world sinke so they do their duty; he presents 
them himself, only protesting to them that not 
any ill will draws him to it, but the debt and obU- 
gation of his calling, being to obey God rather 
then men. 



Chapter VII 
The Parson Preaching 

THE Countrey Parson preacheth constantly, the 
pulpit is his joy and his throne. If he at any 
time intermit, it is either for want of health or 
against some great Festivall, that he may the bet- 
ter celebrate it, or for the variety of the hearers 
that he may be heard at his returne more atten- 
tively. When he intermits, he is ever very weU 
supplyed by some able man who treads in his steps 
and will not throw down what he hath built; whom 
also he intreats to press some point that he him- 
self hath often urged with no great success, that 
so in the mouth of two or three witnesses the truth 
may be more estabhshed. When he preacheth, he 
procures attention by all possible art, both by 
eamestnesse of speech — it being naturall to men 
to think that where is much earnestness there is 
somewhat worth hearing — and by a diligent and 
busy cast of his eye on his auditors, with letting 
them know that he observes who marks and who 
not; and with particularizing of his speech now 
to the younger sort, then to the elder, now to the 
poor and now to the rich. This is for you, and 
This is for you; for particulars ever touch and 



30 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

awake more than generalls. Herein also he serves 
himselfe of the judgements of God, as of those of 
antient times so especially of the late ones, and 
those most which are nearest to his Parish; for 
people are very attentive at such discourses, and 
think it behoves them to be so, when God is so 
neer them and even over their heads. Sometimes 
he tells them stories and sayings of others, ac- 
cording as his text invites him; for them also men 
heed and remember better than exhortations, 
which though earnest yet often dy with the Ser- 
mon, especially with Countrey people ; which are 
thick, and heavy, and hard to raise to a poynt of 
zeal and fervency, and need a mountaine of fire 
to kindle them, but stories and sayings they will 
well remember. He often tels them that Sermons 
are dangerous things, that none goes out of Church 
as he came in, but either better or worse ; that none 
is careless before his Judg, and that the word of 
God shal Judge us. By these and other means the 
Parson procures attention ; but the character of 
his Sermon is Holiness. He is not witty, or learned, 
or eloquent, but Holy. A Character that Hermo- 
genes^ never dream'd of, and therefore he could 
give no precepts hereof. But it is gained first, 
by choosing texts of Devotion not Controversie, 
moving and ravishing texts, whereof the Scriptures 
are full. Secondly, by dipping and seasoning all 
our words and sentences in our hearts before they 
come into our mouths, truly affecting and cor- 



PREACHING SI 

dially expressing all that we say; so that the 
auditors may plainly perceive that every word is 
hart-deep. Thirdly, by turning often and making 
many Apostrophes to God, as. Oh Lord blesse 
my people and teach them this point; or, Oh my 
Master, on whose errand I come, let me hold my 
peace and doe thou speak thy selfe; for thou art 
Love, and when thou teachest all are Scholers. 
Some such irradiations scatteringly in the Sermon 
carry great holiness in them. The Prophets are 
admirable in this. So Isa. 64 : Oh that thou would' st 
rent the Heavens, that thou would! st come down, &c. 
And Jeremy, Chapt. 10, after he had complained 
of the desolation of Israel, tumes to God suddenly : 
Oh Lord, I know that the way of man is not in 
himself, &c. Fourthly, by frequent wishes of the 
people's good and joying therein, though he him- 
self were with Saint Paul even sacrificed upon the 
service of their faith. For there is no greater sign 
of holinesse then the procuring, and rejoycing in 
another's good. And herein St. Paul excelled in all 
his Epistles. How did he put the Romans in all 
his prayers! Rom. 1. 9. And ceased not to give 
thanks for the Ephesians, Eph. 1. 16. And for the 
Corinthians, chap. 1. 4. And for the Philippians 
made request with joy, chap, 1. 4. And is in con- 
tention for them whither to live or dy, be with 
them or Christ, verse 23; which, setting aside his 
care of his Flock, were a madnesse to doubt of. 
What an admirable Epistle is the second to the 



32 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

Corinthians I how full of affections ! he joyes and 
he is sorry, he grieves and he glory es, never was 
there such care of a flock expressed save in the 
great shepherd of the fold, who first shed teares 
over Jerusalem and afterwards blood. Therefore 
this care may be learn'd there and then woven into 
Sermons, which will make them appear exceed- 
ing reverend and holy. Lastly, by an often urging 
of the presence and majesty of God, by these or 
such hke speeches : Oh let us all take heed what 
we do. God sees us, he sees whether I speak as I 
ought or you hear as you ought ; he sees hearts 
as we see faces ; he is among us ; for if we be here, 
hee must be here, since we are here by him and 
without him could not be here. Then turning the 
discourse to his Majesty: And he is a great God 
and terrible, as great in mercy so great in judge- 
ment. There are but two devouring elements, fire 
and water; he hath both in him. His voyce is as 
the sound of many waters. Revelations 1. And he 
himselfe is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12. Such 
discourses shew very Holy. The Parson's Method 
in handUng of a text consists of two parts : first, 
a plain and evident declaration of the meaning 
of the text ; and secondly, some choyce Observa- 
tions drawn out of the whole text, as it lyes entire 
and unbroken in the Scripture it self. This he 
thinks naturall and sweet and grave. Whereas the 
other way of crumbHng a text into small parts, as, 
the Person speaking or spoken to, the subject and 



PREACfflNG 33 

object, and the like, hath neither in it sweetnesse, 
nor gravity, nor variety; since the words apart are 
not Scripture but a dictionary, and may be con- 
sidered ahke in all the Scripture. The Parson ex- 
ceeds not an hour in preaching, because all ages 
have thought that a competency, and he that 
profits not in that time will lesse afterwards; the 
same affection which made him not profit before 
making him then weary, and so he grows from 
not rehshing to loathing. 



Chapter VIII 
The Parson on Sundays 

THE Country Parson as soon as he awakes 
on Sunday Morning presently falls to work, 
and seems to himselfe so as a Market-man is 
when the Market day comes, or a shop-keeper 
when customers use to come in. His thoughts are 
full of making the best of the day and contriving 
it to his best gaines. To this end, besides his ordi- 
nary prayers, he makes a pecuKar one for a bless- 
ing on the exercises of the day: That nothing befall 
him unworthy of that Majesty before which he is 
to present himself, but that all may be done with 
reverence to his glory and with edification to his 
flock, humbly beseeching his Master that how or 
whenever he punish him it be not in his Minis- 
try. Then he turnes to request for his people that 
the Lord would be pleased to sanctifie them all, 
that they may come with holy hearts and awfull 
mindes into the Congregation, and that the good 
God would pardon all those who come with lesse 
prepared hearts then they ought. This done, he 
sets himself to the Consideration of the duties of 
the day; and if there be any extraordinary addi- 
tion to the customary exercises, either from the 



ON SUNDAYS 85 

time of the year, or from the State, or from God 
by a child bom or dead, or any other accident, 
he contrives how and in what manner to induce^ 
it to the best advantage. Afterwards when the 
hour calls, with his family attending him he goes 
to Church, at his first entrance humbly adoring 
and worshipping the invisible majesty and presence 
of Almighty God, and blessing the people either 
openly or to himselfe. Then having read divine 
Ser\ace twice fully, and preached in the morning 
and catechized in the afternoone, he thinks he 
hath in some measure, according to poor and 
fraile man, discharged the publick duties of the 
Congregation. The rest of the day he spends 
either in reconciling neighbours that are at vari- 
ance, or in visiting the sick, or in exhortations to 
some of his flock by themselves, whom his Ser- 
mons cannot or doe not reach. And every one is 
more awaked when we come and say. Thou art 
the man. This way he findes exceeding usefull 
and winning; and these exhortations he cals his 
privy purse, even as Princes have theirs, besides 
ther pubUck disbursments. At night he thinks it 
a very fit time, both sutable to the joy of the day 
and without hinderance to publick duties, either 
to entertaine some of his neighbours or to be 
entertained of them, where he takes occasion to 
discourse oj such things as are both profitable and 
pleasant, and to raise up their mindes to apprehend 
God's good blessing to our Church and State; that 



36 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

order is kept in the one and peace in the other, with- 
out disturbance or interruption of puhlick divine 
offices. As he opened the day with prayer, so he 
eloseth it, humbly beseeching the Almighty to par- 
don and accept our poor services and to improve 
them that wee may grow therein, and that our feet 
may be Uke hindes' feet, ever climbing up higher 
and higher unto him. 



Chapter IX 

The Parson's State of Life 

THE Country Parson considering that virginity- 
is a higher state then Matrimony, and that 
the Ministry requires the best and highest things, 
is rather unmarryed then marryed. But yet as the 
temper of his body may be, or as the temper of his 
Parish may be, where he may have occasion to 
converse with women and that among suspicious 
men, and other like circumstances considered, he is 
rather married then unmarried. Let him com- 
municate the thing often by prayer unto God, and 
as his grace shall direct him so let him proceed. If 
he be unmarried and keepe house, he hath not 
a woman in his house, but findes opportunities 
of having his meat dress'd and other services done 
by men-servants at home, and his linnen washed 
abroad. If he be unmarryed and sojoume, he 
never talkes with any woman alone, but in the au- 
dience of others, and that seldom, and then also in a 
serious manner, never jestingly or sportfully. He 
is very circumspect in all companyes, both of his 
behaviour, speech, and very looks, knowing himself 
to be both suspected and envyed. If he stand stead- 
fast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath 



38 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his 
heart that he will keep himself a virgin, he spends 
his dayes in fasting and prayer and hlesseth God for 
the gift of continency, knowing that it can no way 
be preserved but only by those means by which at 
first it was obtained. He therefore thinkes it not 
enough for him to observe the fasting dayes of the 
Church and the dayly prayers enjoyned him by 
auctority, which he observeth out of humble con- 
formity and obedience, but adds to them, out of 
choyce and devotion, some other dayes for fasting 
and hours for prayers ; and by these hee keeps his 
body tame, serviceable, and healthfull ; and his soul 
fervent, active, young, and lusty ^ as an eagle. He 
often readeth the Lives of the Primitive Monks, 
Hermits, and virgins, and wondreth not so much at 
their patient suffering and cheerfull dying under 
persecuting Emperours, (though that indeed be very 
admirable) as at their daily temperance, abstinence, 
watchings, and constant prayers, and mortifications 
in the times of peace and prosperity. To put on the 
profound humility and the exact temperance of our 
Lord Jesus, with other exemplary vertues of that 
sort, and to keep them on in the sunshine and noone 
of prosperity he findeth to be as necessary, and as 
difficult at least, as to be cloathed with perfect pa- 
tience and Christian fortitude in the cold midnight 
stormes of persecution and adversity. He keepeth 
his watch and ward night and day against the 
proper and peculiar temptations of his state of Life, 



HIS STATE OF LIFE 39 

which are principally these twOy Spirituall pride, 
and Impurity of heart. Against these ghostly ene- 
mies he girdeth up his loynes, Tceepes the imagina- 
tion from roving, puts on the whole Armour of God, 
and by the vertue of the shield of faith he is not 
afraid of the pestilence that walketh in darJcenesse, 
[carnall impurity,] nor of the sicknesse that destroy- 
eth at noone day, [Ghostly pride and self-conceit] 
Other temptations he hath which, like mortall ene- 
mies, may sometimes disquiet him likewise ; for the 
humane soule being bounded and kept in in her 
sensitive faculty, will runne out more or lesse in 
her intellectuall. Originall concupisence is such an 
active thing, by reason of continuxill inward or out- 
ward temptations, that it is ever attempting or doing 
one mischief or other. Ambition, or untimely desire 
of promotion to an higher state or place, under colour 
of accommodation or necessary provision, is a com- 
mon temptation to men of any eminency, especially 
being single men. Curiosity in prying into high 
speculative and unprofitable questions is another 
great stumbling block to the holinesse of Scholers. 
These and many other spirituall wickednesses in 
high places doth the Parson fear, or experiment,^ 
or both ; and that much more being single then if 
he were marry ed; for then commonly the stream of 
temptation is turned another way, into Covetous- 
nesse. Love of pleasure, or ease, or the like. If the 
Parson be unmarryed and means to continue so, he 
doth at least as much as hath been said. If he be 



40 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

marryed, the choyce of his wife was made rather 
by his eare ^ then by his eye ; his judgement, not 
his affection, found out a fit wife for him, whose 
humble and Hberall disposition he preferred before 
beauty, riches, or honour. He knew that {the good 
instrument of God to bring women to heaven) a wise 
and loving husband could out of humility, produce 
any speciall grace of faith, patience, meeknesse, 
love, obedience, &c. and out of liberality make her 
fruitfull in all good works. As hee is just in all 
things, so is he to his wife also, counting nothing 
so much his owne as that he may be unjust unto 
it. Therefore he gives her respect both afore her 
servants and others, and halfe at least of the 
government of the house, reserving so much of the 
affaires as serve for a diversion for him; yet never 
so giving over the raines but that he sometimes 
looks how things go, demanding an account,^ but 
not by the way of an account. And this must bee 
done the oftner or the seldomer according as hee is 
satisfied of his Wife's discretion. 



Chapter X 
A Parson in his House 

THE Parson is very exact in the governing of his 
house, making it a copy and modell for his 
Parish. He knows the temper and pulse of every 
person in his house, and accordingly either meets 
, with ^ their vices or advanceth their vertues. His 
wife is either rehgious, or night and day he is win- 
ning her to it. In stead of the quaUties of the world, 
he requires onely three of her: first, a trayning up 
of her children and mayds in the fear of God, with 
prayers and catechizing and all rehgious duties. 
Secondly, a curing and heahng of all wounds and 
sores with her owne hands ; which skill either she 
brought with her or he takes care she shall learn 
it of some rehgious neighbour. Thirdly, a provid- 
ing for her family in such sort as that neither they 
want a competent sustentation nor her husband 
be brought in debt. His children^ he first makes 
Christians and then Common-wealths-men; the 
one he owes to his heavenly Countrey, the other to 
his earthly, having no title to either except he do 
good to both. Therefore having seasoned them 
with all Piety, not only of words in praying and 
reading, but in actions, in visiting other sick chil- 



42 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

dren and tending their wounds, and sending his 
charity by them to the poor, and sometimes giving 
them a httle money to do it of themselves, that 
they get a delight in it ^and enter favour with 
God, who weighs even children's actions, 1 King. 
14. 12, 13; he afterwards turnes his care to fit all 
their dispositions with some calling, not sparing 
the eldest, but giving him the prerogative of his 
Father's profession, which happily ^ for his other 
children he is not able to do. Yet in binding them 
prentices (in case he think fit to do so) he takes 
care not to put them into vain trades and un- 
befitting the reverence of their Father's calling, 
such as are tavernes for men and lace-making for 
women; because those trades for the most part 
serve but the vices and vanities of the world, which 
he js to deny and not augment. However, he 
resolves with himself never to omit any present 
good deed of charity in consideration of providing 
a stock for his children; but assures himself e that 
mony thus lent to God is placed surer for his chil- 
dren's advantage then if it were given to the Cham- 
ber of London.^ Good deeds and good breeding 
are his two great stocks for his children; if God 
give any thing above those and not spent in them, 
he blesseth God and lays it out as he sees cause. 
His servants are all religious ; and were it not his 
duty to have them so, it were his profit, for none 
are so well served as by reKgious servants, both 
because they do best and because what they do 



IN HIS HOUSE 43 

is blessed and prospers. After religion, he teacheth 
them that three things make a compleate servant : 
Truth, and Dihgence, and Neatnesse or Cleanli- 
nesse. Those that can read are allowed times for 
it, and those that cannot are taught; for all in his 
house are either teachers or learners or both, so 
that his family is a Schoole of ReHgion, and they all 
account that to teach the ignorant is the greatest 
almes. Even the wals are not idle, but something 
is written or painted there which may excite the 
reader to a thought of piety; especially the 101 
Psalm, which is expressed in a fayre table as being 
the rule of a family. And when they go abroad, 
his wife among her neighbours is the beginner of 
good discourses, his children among children, his 
servants among other servants; so that as in the 
house of those that are skill'd in Musick all are 
Musicians; so in the house of a Preacher all are 
preachers. He suffers not a ly or equivocation by 
any means in his house, but counts it the art and 
secret of governing to preserve a directinesse and 
open plainnesse in all things ; so that all his house 
knowes that there is no help for a fault done but 
confession. He himself e or his Wife takes account 
of Sermons,^ and how every one profits, comparing 
this yeer with the last; and besides the common 
prayers of the family, he straitly requires of all to 
pray by themselves before they sleep at night and 
stir out in the morning, and knows what prayers 
they say, and till they have learned them makes 



44 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

them kneel by him; esteeming that this private 
praying is a more voluntary act in them then when 
they are called to others' prayers, and that which 
when they leave the family they carry with them. 
He keeps his servants between love and fear, 
according as hee findes them, but generally he dis- 
tributes it thus: to his Children he shewes more 
love than terrour, to his servants more terrour 
than love, but an old good servant boards a child.* 
The furniture of his house is very plain, but clean, 
whole, and sweet, as sweet as his garden can make; 
for he hath no mony for such things, charity being 
his only perfume, which deserves cost when he can 
spare it. His fare is plain and common, but whol- 
some; what hee hath is little, but very good; it con- 
sisteth most of mutton, beefe, and veal. If he addes 
anything for a great day or a stranger, his garden 
or orchard supplies it, or his barne and back- 
side;^ he goes no further for any entertainment 
lest he goe into the world, esteeming it absurd 
that he should exceed who teacheth others tem- 
perance. But those which his home produceth 
he refuseth not, as coming cheap and easie, and 
arising from the improvement of things, which 
otherwise would be lost. Wherein he admires and 
imitates the wonderfull providence and thrift of 
the great householder of the world. For there being 
two things which as they are are unuseful to man, 
the one for smalnesse, as crums and scattered 
corn and the hke; the other for the foulnesse, as 



IN HIS HOUSE 45 

wash and durt and things thereinto fallen; God 
hath provided Creatures for both : for the first, 
poultry ; for the second, swine. These save man 
the labour and doing that which either he could 
not do or was not fit for him to do, by taking both 
sorts of food into them, do as it were dresse and 
prepare both for man in themselves, by growing 
themselves fit for his table. The Parson in his 
house observes fasting dayes ; and particularly, 
as Sunday is his day of joy so Friday his day of 
HumiHation, which he celebrates not only with 
abstinence of diet but also of company, recreation, 
and all outward contentments; and besides, with 
confession of sins and all acts of Mortification.* 
Now fasting days containe a treble obligation : 
first, of eating lesse that day then on other dayes ; 
secondly, of eating no pleasing or over-nourishing 
things, as the IsraeHtes did eate sowre herbs: 
thirdly, of eating no flesh, which is but the deter- 
mination of the second rule by Authority to this 
particular. The two former obligations are much 
more essentiall to a true fast then the third and 
last; and fasting dayes were fully performed by 
keeping of the two former, had not Authority 
interposed ; so that to eat Httle, and that unplea- 
sant, is the naturall rule of fasting, although it be 
flesh. For since fasting in Scripture language is an 
afflicting of our souls, if a peece of dry flesh at my 
table be more unpleasant to me then some fish 
there, certainly to eat the flesh and not the fish is 



46 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

to keep the fasting day naturally. And it is observ- 
able that the prohibiting of flesh came from hot 
Countreys where both flesh alone, and much more 
with wine, is apt to nourish more then in cold re- 
gions, and where flesh may be much better spared 
and with more safety then elsewhere, where both 
the people and the drink being cold and flegmatick, 
the eating of flesh is an antidote to both. For it is 
certaine that a weak stomack, being prepossessed 
with flesh, shall much better brooke and bear a 
draught of beer then if it had taken before either 
fish, or rootes, or such things ; which will discover 
it selfe by spitting, and rheume, or flegme. To 
conclude, the Parson, if he be in full health, keeps 
the three obligations, eating fish or roots,^ and that 
for quantity little, for quaHty unpleasant. If his 
body be weak and obstructed, as most Students 
are, he cannot keep the last obKgation nor suffer 
others in his house that are so to keep it; but only 
the two former, which also in diseases of exinani- 
tion (as consumptions) must be broken : For meat 
was made for man, not man for meat. To all this 
may be added, not for emboldening the unruly 
but for the comfort of the weak, that not onely 
sicknesse breaks these obligations of fasting but 
sicklinesse also. For it is as unnatural to do any 
thing that leads me to a sicknesse to which I am 
incHned, as not to get out of that sicknesse when 
I am in it by any diet. One thing is evident, that 
an English body and a Student's body are two 



IN HIS HOUSE 47 

great obstructed vessels; and there is nothing that 
is food, and not phisick, which doth lesse obstruct 
then flesh moderately taken ; as being immod- 
erately taken, it is exceeding obstructive. And 
obstructions are the cause of most diseases. 



Chapter XI 
The Parson's Courtesie 

THE Countrey Parson owing a debt of Charity 
to the poor and of Courtesie to his other 
parishioners, he so distinguisheth that he keeps 
his money for the poor and his table for those that 
are above Alms. Not but that the poor are welcome 
also to his table, whom he sometimes purposely 
takes home with him, setting them close by him 
and carving for them, both for his own humility 
and their comfort, who are much cheered with 
such friendKneses. But since both is to be done, 
the better sort invited and meaner reUeved, he 
chooseth rather to give the poor money, which they 
can better employ to their own advantage and 
sutably to their needs, then so much given in meat 
at dinner. Having then invited some of his Parish, 
hee taketh his times to do the like to the rest, so 
that in the compasse of the year hee hath them all 
with him; because countrey people are very ob- 
servant of such things, and will not be perswaded 
but being not invited they are hated. Which per- 
swasion the Parson by all means avoyds, knowing 
that where there are such conceits there is no 
room for his doctrine to enter. Yet doth hee often- 



HIS COURTESIE 49 

est invite those whom hee sees take best courses, 
that so both they may be encouraged to persevere 
and others spurred to do well, that they may enjoy 
the Uke courtesie. For though he desire that all 
should Uve well and vertuously not for any re- 
ward of his, but for vertue's sake, yet that will not 
be so; and therefore as God, although we should 
love him onely for his own sake yet out of his 
infinite pity hath set forth heaven for a reward 
to draw men to Piety, and is content if at least so 
they will become good; So the Countrey Parson, 
who is a diligent observer and tracker of God*s 
wayes, sets up as many encouragements to good- 
nesse as he can, both in honour, and profit, and 
fame ; that he may, if not the best way, yet any 
way make his Parish good. 



Chapter XII 
The Parson's Charity 

THE Countrey Parson is full of Charity; it is 
his predominant element. For many and 
wonderfull things are spoken of thee, thou great 
Vertue. To Charity is given the covering of sins, 
1 Pet. 4. 8; and the forgivenesse of sins, Matthew 
6. 14, LuliB 7. 47; the fulfilling of the Law, Romans 
13. 10; the hfeof faith, James 2. 26; the blessings 
of this life, Proverbs 22. 9, Psalm 41. 2; and the 
reward of the next, Matth. 25. 35. In brief, it is 
the body of Rehgion, John 13. 35, and the top of 
Christian vertues, 1 Corin. 13. '^Mierefore all his 
works reUish of Charity. TMien he riseth in the 
morning, he bethinketh him self e what good deeds 
he can do that day, and presently^ doth them; 
counting that day lost wherein he hath not exer- 
cised his Charity. He first considers his own Parish, 
and takes care that there be not a begger or idle 
person in his Parish, but that all bee in a com- 
petent way of getting their Hving. This he affects 
either by bounty, or perswasion, or by authority, 
making use of that excellent statute which bindes 
all Parishes to maintaine their own. If his Parish 
be riche, he exacts this of them; if poor, and he 



HIS CHARITY 51 

able, he easeth them therein. But he gives no set 
pension to any ; for this in time will lose the name 
and effect of Charity with the poor people, though 
not with God. For then they will reckon upon it, 
as on a debt; and if it be taken away, though 
justly, they will murmur and repine as much as he 
that is disseized of his own inheritance. But the 
Parson having a double aime, and making a hook 
of his Charity, causeth them still to depend on 
him; and so by continuall and fresh bounties, un- 
expected to them but resolved to himself, hee wins 
them to praise God more, to Uve more rehgiously, 
and to take more paines in their vocation, as not 
knowing when they shal be reheved ; which other- 
wise they would reckon upon and turn to idle- 
nesse. Besides this generall provision, he hath 
other times of opening his hand : as at great Fes- 
tivals and Communions, not suffering any that 
day that he receives to want a good meal suting 
to the joy of the occasion. But specially at hard 
times and dearths he even parts his Living and 
life among them, giving some com outright, and 
selling other at under rates ; and when his own 
stock serves not-, working those that are able to 
the same charity, still pressing it in the pulpit and 
out of the pulpit, and never leaving them till he 
obtaine his desire. Yet in all his Charity he dis- 
tinguisheth, giving them most who Hve best, and 
take most paines, and are most charged. So is his 
charity in effect a Sermon. After the consideration 



52 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

of his own Parish he inlargeth himself, if he be 
able, to the neighbourhood ; for that also is some 
kind of obligation. So doth he also to those at his 
door, whom God puts in his way and makes his 
neighbours. But these he helps not without some 
testimony, except the evidence of the misery bring 
testimony with it. For though these testimonies 
also may be falsifyed, yet considering that the Law 
allows these in case they be true, but allows by no 
means to give without testimony, as he obeys Au- 
thority in the one, so that being once satisfied he 
allows his Charity some bhndnesse in the other; 
especially since of the two commands we are 
more in joined to be charitable then wise. But evi- 
dent miseries have a naturall priviledge and ex- 
emption from all law. When-ever hee gives any 
thing and sees them labour in thanking of him, 
he exacts of them to let him alone and say rather, 
God be praised, God be glorified; that so the 
thanks may go the right way, and thither onely 
where they are onely due. So doth hee also before 
giving make them say their Prayers first, or the 
Creed and ten Commandments, and as he finds 
them perfect rewards them the more. For other 
givings are lay and secular, but this is to give like 
a Priest. 



Chapter XIII 
The Parson's Church 

THE Countrey Parson hath a speciall care of his 
Church, that all things there be decent and 
befitting his Name by which it is called. There- 
fore, first he takes order that all things be in good 
repair : as walls plaistered, windows glazed, floore 
paved, seats whole, firm, and uniform; especially 
that the Pulpit and Desk, and Communion Table 
and Font, be as they ought for those great duties 
that are performed in them. Secondly, that the 
Church be swept and kept cleane, without dust 
or Cobwebs, and at great festi vails strawed, and 
stuck with boughs, and perfumed with incense.^ 
Thirdly, that there be fit and proper texts of 
Scripture every where painted, and that all the 
painting be grave and reverend, not with Hght 
colours or foolist anticks. Fourthly, That all the 
books appointed by Authority be there, and those 
not tome, or fouled, but whole ; and clean, and 
well bound ; and that there be a fitting and sightly 
Communion cloth of fine linnen, with an hand- 
some and seemly Carpet of good and costly Stuff e 
or Clothy and all kept sweet and clean, in a strong 
and decent chest, with a Chalice and Cover, and 



54 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

a Stoop or Flagon, and a Bason for Almes and 
offerings ; besides which he hath a Poor-man's box 
conveniently seated, to receive the charity of well 
minded people and to lay up treasure for the sick 
and needy. And all this he doth not as out of ne- 
cessity, or as putting a holiness in the things, but 
as desiring to keep the middle way ^ between su- 
perstition and slovenlinesse, and as following the 
Apostle's two great and admirable Rules in things 
of this nature : The first whereof is, Let all things 
be done decently and in order ; The second. Let all 
things be done to edification, 1 Cor. 14. For these 
two rules comprize and include the double object 
of our duty, God, and our neighbour : the first 
being for the honour of God, the second for the 
benefit of our neighbor. So that they excellently 
score out the way, and fully and exactly contain, 
even in externall and indifferent things, what course 
is to be taken; and put them to great shame who 
deny the Scripture to be perfect. 



Chapter XIV 
The Parson in Circuit 

THE Countrey Parson upon the afternoons^ in 
the weekdays takes occasion sometimes to 
visite in person now one quarter of his Parish, now 
another. For there he shall find his flock most 
naturally as they are, wallowing in the midst of 
their aflPairs ; whereas on Sundays it is easie for 
them to compose themselves to order, which they 
put on as their holy-day cloathes, and come to 
Church in frame, but commonly the next day put 
off both. When he comes to any house, first he 
blesseth it, and then as hee finds the persons of the 
house imployed so he formes his discourse. Those 
that he findes rehgiously imployed, hee both com- 
mends them much and furthers them when hee 
is gone, in their imployment : as, if hee findes them 
reading, hee f umisheth them with good books ; if 
curing poor people, hee supplies them with Receipts 
and instructs them further in that skill, shewing 
them how acceptable such works are to God, and 
wishing them ever to do the Cures with their own 
hands and not to put them over to servants. Those 
that he finds busie in the works of their calhng, 
he commendeth them also: for it is a good and 



56 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

just thing for every one to do their own busines. 
But then he admonisheth them of two things: 
first, that they dive not too deep into worldly 
affairs, plunging themselves over head and eares 
into carking and caring; but that they so labour 
as neither to labour anxiously, nor distrustfully, 
nor profanely. Then they labour anxiously when 
they overdo it, to the loss of their quiet and health; 
then distrustfully, when they doubt God's provi- 
dence, thinking that their own labour is the cause 
of their thriving, as if it were in their own hands to 
thrive or not to thrive. Then they labour profanely, 
when they set themselves to work like brute beasts, 
never raising their thoughts to God, nor sanctifying 
their labour with daily prayer; when on the Lord^s 
day they do unnecessary servile work, or in time of 
divine service on other holy days, except in the cases 
of extreme poverty, and in the seasons of Seed-time 
and Harvest, Secondly, he adviseth them so to 
labour for wealth and maintenance as that they 
make not that the end of their labour, but that 
they may have wherewithall to serve God the bet- 
ter and to do good deeds. After these discourses, 
if they be poor and needy whom he thus finds 
labouring, he gives them somewhat ; and opens 
not only his mouth but his purse to their relief, that 
so they go on more cheerfully in their vocation, 
and himself be ever the more welcoi^e to them. 
Those that the Parson findes idle, or ill employed, 
he chides not at first, for that were neither civill 



IN CmCUIT 57 

nor profitable; but always in the close, before he 
departs from them. Yet in this he distinguisheth. 
For if he be a plaine countryman, he reproves him 
plainly; for they are not sensible of finenesse. If 
they be of higher quahty, they commonly are quick 
and sensible, and very tender of reproof; and 
therefore he lays his discourse so that he comes to 
the point very leasurely, and oftentimes, as Nathan 
did, in the person of another, making them to 
reprove themselves. However, one way or other, 
he ever reproves them, that he may keep himself 
pure and not be intangled in others' sinnes. 
Neither in this doth he forbear though there be 
company by. For as when the offence is particular 
and against mee, I am to follow our Saviour's rule 
and to take my brother aside and reprove him ; 
so when the offence is pubhcke and against God, 
I am then to follow the Apostle's rule, 1 Timothy 
5, 20, and to rebuke openly that which is done 
openly. Besides these occasionall discourses, the 
Parson questions what order is kept in the house : 
as about prayers morning and evening on their 
knees, reading of Scripture, catechizing, singing of 
Psalms at their work and on holy days ; who can 
read, who not ; and sometimes he hears the chil- 
dren read himselfe and blesseth, encouraging also 
the servants to learn to read and offering to have 
them taught on holy-day es by his servants. If the 
Parson were ashamed of particularizing in these 
things, hee were not fit to be a Parson ; but he holds 



58 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

the Rule that Nothing is little^ in God's service. If 
it once have the honour of that Name, it grows 
great instantly. Wherfore neither disdaineth he to 
enter into the poorest Cottage, though he even 
creep into it and though it smell never so loth- 
somly. For both God is there also and those for 
whom God dyed; and so much the rather doth he 
so as his accesse to the poor is more comfortable 
then to the rich; and in regard of liimselfe, it is 
more humiUation. These are the Parson's generall 
aims in his Circuit ; but with these he mingles 
other discourses for conversation sake, and to 
make his higher purposes slip the more easily. 



Chapter XV 
The Parson Comforting 

THE Countrey Parson, when any of his cure is 
sick, or afflicted with losse of friend, or estate, 
or any ways distressed, fails not to afford his best 
comforts, and rather goes to them then sends for 
the afflicted, though they can and otherwise ought 
to come to him. To this end he hath throughly 
digested all the points of consolation, as having 
continuall use of them, such as are from God's 
generall providence extended even to lillyes ; from 
his particular to his Church; from his promises, 
from the examples of all Saints that ever were ; 
from Christ himself, perfecting our Redemption no 
other way then by sorrow ; from the Benefit of 
affliction, which softens and works the stubborn 
heart of man; from the certainty both of deliver- 
ance and reward, if we faint not; from the miser- 
able comparison of the moment of griefs here with 
the weight of joyes hereafter. Besides this, in his 
visiting the sick or otherwise afflicted, he followeth 
the Churches connsell, namely, in perswading them 
to particular confession, labouring to make them 
understand the great good use of this antient and 
pious ordinance, and how necessary it is in some 



60 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

cases. He also urgeth them to do some pious chari- 
table works as a necessary evidence and fruit of their 
faith, at that time especially ; the participation of 
the holy Sacrament, how comfortable and Sover- 
aigne a Medicine it is to all sinsich souls; what 
strength and joy and peace it administers against 
all temptations, even to death it selfe, he plainly and 
generally intimateth to the disaffected or sick person, 
that so the hunger and thirst after it may come 
rather from themselves then from his perswasion. 



Chapter XVI 
The Parson a Father 

THE Countrey Parson is ^ not only a father to his 
flock but also professeth himselfe throughly 
of the opinion, carrying it about with him as fully 
as if he had begot his whole Parish. And of this 
he makes great use. For by this means when any 
sinns, he hateth him not as an officer but pityes 
him as a Father. And even in those wrongs which 
either in tithing or otherwise are done to his owne 
person hee considers the offender as a child and 
forgives, so hee may have any signe of amendment. 
So also when after many admonitions any con- 
tinue to be refractory, yet hee gives him not over, 
but is long before hee proceede to disinheriting, 
or perhaps never goes so far, knowing that some 
are called at the eleventh houre ; and therefore 
hee still expects and waits, least hee should deter- 
mine God's houre of coming; which as hee can- 
not, touching the last day, so neither touching the 
intermediate days of Conversion. 



Chapter XVII 
The Parson in Journey 

THE Countrey Parson, when a just occasion 
calleth him out of his Parish (which he diU- 
gently and strictly weigheth, his Parish being all 
his joy and thought) leaveth not his Ministry 
behind him, but is himselfe where ever he is. 
Therefore those he meets on the way he blesseth 
audibly, and with those he overtakes or that over- 
take him hee begins good discourses, such as may 
edify, interposing sometimes some short and hon- 
est refreshments which may make his other dis- 
courses more welcome and lesse tedious. And 
when he comes to his Inn he refuseth not to joyne, 
that he may enlarge the glory of God to the com- 
pany he is in by a due blessing of God for their 
safe arrival, and saying grace at meat, and at 
going to bed by giving the Host notice that he will 
have prayers in the hall, wishing him to informe 
his guests thereof, that if any be willing to partake, 
they may resort thither. The Hke he doth in the 
morning, using pleasantly the outlandish proverb,^ 
that Prayers and Provender never hinder journey. 
When he comes to any other house, where his kin- 
dred or other relations give him any authority over 



IN JOURNEY 63 

the Family f if hee be to stay for a time, hee consid- 
ers diligently the state thereof to Godward, and 
that in two points : First, what disorders there are 
either in Apparell, or Diet, or too open a Buttery, 
or reading vain books, or swearing, or breeding up 
children to no Calling, but in idleness or the Uke. 
Secondly, what means of Piety, whether daily 
prayers be used, Grace, reading of Scriptures, and 
other good books, how Sunday es^ holy-days y and 
fasting days are kept. And accordingly as he 
finds any defect in these, hee first considers with 
himselfe what kind of remedy fits the temper of 
the house best, and then hee faithfully and boldly 
applyeth it; yet seasonably and discreetly, by tak- 
ing aside the Lord or Lady, or Master and Mistres 
of the house, and shewing them cleerly that they 
respect them most who wish them best, and that 
not a desire to meddle with others* affairs, but the 
eamestnesse to do all the good he can moves him 
to say thus and thus. 



Chapter XVIII 
The Parson in Sentinell 

THE Countrey Parson, where ever he is, keeps 
God's watch: that is, there is nothing spoken 
or done in the Company where he is but comes 
under his Test and censure.^ If it be well spoken 
or done, he takes occasion to commend and en- 
large it ; if ill, he presently lays hold of it, least 
the poyson steal into some young and unwary 
spirits and possesse them even before they them- 
selves heed it. But this he doth discretely, with 
mollifying and suppHng words : This was not so 
well said as it might have been forborn; We can- 
not allow this. Or else if the thing will admit in- 
terpretation : Your meaning is not thus, but thus ; 
or. So farr indeed what you say is true and well 
said, but this will not stand. This is called keep- 
ing God's watch, when the baits which the enemy 
lays in company are discovered and avoyded. 
This is to be on God's side and be true to his party. 
Besides, if he perceive in company any discourse 
tending to ill, either by the wickedness or quarrel- 
somenesse thereof, he either prevents it judiciously 
or breaks it off seasonably by some diversion. 
Wherein a pleasantness of disposition is of great 



IN SENTINELL 65 

use, men being willing to sell the interest and in- 
gagement of their discourses for no price sooner 
then that of mirth; whither the nature of man, 
loving refreshment, gladly betakes it selfe, even 
to the losse of honour. 



Chapter XIX 
The Parson in Reference 

THE Countrey Parson is sincere and upright 
in all his relations. And first, he is just to his 
Countrey : as when he is set at ^ an armour or 
horse, he borrowes them not to serve the turne, 
nor provides slight and unusefuU, but such as are 
every way fitting to do his Countrey true and laud- 
able service when occasion requires. To do other- 
wise is deceit, and therefore not for him, who is 
hearty and true in all his wayes, as being the ser- 
vant of him in whom there was no guile. Likewise 
in any other Countrey-duty he considers what is 
the end of any Command, and then he suits things 
faithfully according to that end. Secondly, he 
carryes himself very respectively^ as to all the 
Fathers of the Church, so especially to his Dioce- 
san, honouring him both in word and behaviour 
and resorting unto him in any difl&culty, either in 
his studies or in his Parish. He observes Visita- 
tions, and being there makes due use of them, as 
of Clergy councels for the benefit of the Diocese. 
And therefore before he comes, having observed 
some defects in the IVIinistry, he then either in 
Sermon, if he preach, or at some other time of the 



IN REFERENCE 67 

day, propounds among his Brethren what were 
fitting to be done. Thirdly, he keeps good Cor- 
respondence with all the neighbouring Pastours 
round about him, performing for them any Min- 
isterial! office which is not to the prejudice of his 
own Parish. Likewise he welcomes to his house 
any Minister, how poor or mean soever, with as 
joyfull a countenance as if he were to entertain 
some great Lord. Fourthly, he fulfills the duty 
and debt of neighbourhood to all the Parishes 
which are neer him. For the Apostle's rule, Philip. 
4, being admirable and large, that we should do 
whatsoever things are honest, or just, or pure, or 
lovely, or of good report, if there be any vertue, or 
any praise; and Neighbourhood being ever re- 
puted, even among the Heathen, as an obhgation 
to do good, rather then to those that are further, 
where things are otherwise equall, therefore he 
satisfies this duty also. Especially if God have 
sent any calamity either by fire or famine to any 
neighbouring Parish, then he expects no Briefe;^ 
but taking his Parish together the next Sunday or 
holy-day and exposing to them the uncertainty 
of humane affairs, none knowing whose turne 
may be next, and then when he hath affrighted 
them with this exposing the obhgation of Charity 
and Neighbour-hood, he first gives himself hberally 
and then incites them to give; making together a 
summe either to be sent, or, which were more 
comfortable, all together choosing some fitt day 



68 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

to carry it themselves and cheere the Afflicted. 
So if any neighbouring village be overburdened 
with poore and his owne lesse charged, he findes 
some way of releeving it and reducing the Manna 
and bread of Charity to some equality, represent- 
ing to his people that the Blessing of God to them 
ought to make them the more charitable, and not 
the lesse, lest he cast their neighbours' poverty on 
them also. 



Chapter XX 
The Parson in God's Stead 

THE Countrey Parson is in God's stead to his 
Parish, and dischargeth^ God what he can 
of his promises. Wherefore there is nothing done 
either wel or ill whereof he is not the rewarder 
or punisher. If he chance to finde any reading in 
another's Bible, he provides him one of his own. 
If he finde another giving a poor man a penny, 
he gives him a tester for it, if the giver be fit to re- 
ceive it; or if he be of a condition above such gifts, 
he sends him a good book or easeth him in his 
Tithes, telling him when he hath forgotten it, This 
I do because at such and such a time you were 
charitable. This is in some sort a discharging of 
God as concerning this Hfe, who hath promised 
that Godhnesse shall be gainfuU; but in the other, 
God is his own immediate paymaster, rewarding 
all good deeds to their full proportion. The Par- 
son's punishing of sin and vice is rather by with- 
drawing his bounty and courtesie from the parties 
offending, or by private or publick reproof y as the 
case requires, then by causing them to be presented 
or otherwise complained of. And yet as the malice 
of the person or hainousness of the crime may be, he 



70 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

is carefull to see condign 'punishment inflicted; and 
with truly godly zeal, without hatred to the person, 
hungreth and thirsteth after righteous punishment 
of unrighteousnesse. Thus both in rewarding ver- 
tue and in punishing vice, the Parson endeavour- 
eth to be in God's stead, knowing that Countrey 
people are drawne or led by sense more then by 
faith, by present rewards or punishments more then 
by future. 



Chapter XXI 
The Parson Catechizing 

THE Countrey Parson values Catechizing highly. 
For there being three points of his duty, the 
one to infuse a competent knowledge of salvation 
in every one of his Flock ; the other to multiply 
and build up this knowledge to a spirituall Temple; 
the third to inflame this knowledge, to presse and 
drive it to practice, turning it to reformation of 
life by pithy and Uvely exhortations; Catechizing 
is the first point, and but by Catechizing the 
other cannot be attained. Besides, whereas in 
Sermons there is a kind of state, in Catechizing 
there is an humblesse very sutable to Christian 
regeneration, which exceedingly dehghts him as 
by way of exercise upon himself, and by way of 
preaching to himself for the advancing of his own 
mortification. For in preaching to others he for- 
gets not himself, but is first a Sermon to himself 
and then to others, growing with the growth of his 
Parish. He useth and preferreth the ordinary 
Church-Catechism, partly for obedience to Au- 
thority, partly for uniformity sake, that the same 
common truths may be every where professed; 
especially since many remove from Parish to 



72 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

Parish, who like Christian Souldiers are to give 
the word and to satisfie the Congregation by their 
CathoUck answers. He exacts of all the Doctrine 
of the Catechisme : of the younger sort, the very 
words ; of the elder, the substance. Those he 
Catechizeth pubhckly, these privately, giving age 
honour according to the Apostle's rule, 1 Tim. 5, 1. 
He requires all to be present at Catechizing: first, 
for the authority of the work; Secondly, that 
Parents and Masters, as they hear the answers 
prove, may when they come home either com- 
mend or reprove, either reward or punish. Thirdly, 
that those of the elder sort, who are not well 
grounded, may then by an honourable way take 
occasion to be better instructed. Fourthly, that 
those who are well grown in the knowledg of Re- 
ligion may examine their grounds, renew their 
vowes, and by occasion of both inlarge their medi- 
tations. When once all have learned the words of 
the Catechisme, he thinks it the most usefull way 
that a Pastor can take to go over the same, but 
in other words. For many say the Catechisme by 
rote, as parrats, without ever piercing into the sense 
of it. In this course the order of the Catechisme 
would be kept, but the rest varyed. As thus in the 
Creed : How came this world to be as it is ? Was 
it made, or came it by chance? Who made it.^ 
Did you see God make it ? Then are there some 
things to be beleeved that are not seen ? Is this the 
nature of beliefe ? Is not Christianity full of such 



CATECHIZING 73 

things as are not to be seen, but beleeved ? You 
said, God made the world ; Who is God ? And 
so forward, requiring answers to all these, and 
helping and cherishing the Answerer by making 
the Question very plaine with comparisons, and 
making much even of a word of truth from him. 
This order being used to one would be a little 
varyed to another. And this is an admirable way 
of teaching, wherein the Catechized will at length 
finde dehght, and by which the Catechizer, if he 
once get the skill of it, will draw out of ignorant 
and silly ^ souls even the dark and deep points of 
ReHgion. Socrates did thus in Philosophy, who 
held that the seeds of all truths lay in every body, 
and accordingly by questions well ordered he 
found Philosophy in silly Tradesmen. That posi- 
tion will not hold in Christianity, because it con- 
tains things above nature; but after that the 
Catechisme is once learn'd, that which nature is 
towards Philosophy the Catechisme is towards 
Divinity. To this purpose some dialogues in Plato 
were worth the reading, where the singular dex- 
terity of Socrates in this kind may be observed 
and imitated. Yet the skill consists but in these 
three points : First, an aim and mark of the whole 
discourse whither to drive the Answerer, which 
the Questionist must have in his mind before any 
question be propounded, upon which and to which 
the questions are to be chained. Secondly, a most 
plain and easie framing the question, even con- 



74 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

taining in vertue^ the answer also, especially to the 
more ignorant. Thirdly, when the answerer sticks, 
an illustrating the thing by something else which 
he knows, making what hee knows to serve him in 
that which he knows not : As, when the Parson 
once demanded after other questions about man's 
misery. Since man is so miserable, what is to be 
done ? And the answerer could not tell; He asked 
him again, what he would do if he were in a ditch ? 
This famiUar illustration made the answer so 
plaine that he was even ashamed of his ignorance; 
for he could not but say he would hast out of it as 
fast he could. Then he proceeded to ask whether 
he could get out of the ditch alone, or whether he 
needed a helper, and who was that helper. This 
is' the skill, and doubtlesse the Holy Scripture 
intends thus much when it condescends to the 
naming of a plough, a hatchet, a bushell, leaven, 
boyes piping and dancing; shewing that things of 
ordinary use are not only to serve in the way of 
drudgery, but to be washed and cleansed and serve 
for Hghts even of Heavenly Truths. This is the 
Practice which the Parson so much commends to 
all his fellow-labourers; the secret of whose good 
consists in this, that at Sermons and Prayers men 
may sleep or wander; but when one is asked a 
question, he must discover what he is. This prac- 
tice exceeds even Sermons in teaching. But there 
being two things in Sermons, the one Informing, 
the other Inflaming ; as Sermons come short of 



CATECHIZING 75 

questions in the one, so they farre exceed them in 
the other. For questions cannot inflame or ravish; 
that must be done by a set, and laboured, and 
continued speech. 



Chapter XXII 
The Parson in Sacraments 

THE Countrey Parson being to administer the 
Sacraments, is at a stand with himself how 
or what behaviour to assume for so holy things. 
Especially at Communion times he is in a great 
confusion, as being not only to receive God, but 
to break and administer him. Neither findes he 
any issue in this but to throw himseK down at the 
throne of grace, saying. Lord, thou knowest what 
thou didst when thou appointedst it to be done 
thus; therefore doe thou fulfill what thou didst 
appoint; for thou art not only the feast, but the 
way to it. At Baptisme, being himselfe in white, 
he requires the presence of all, and Baptizeth not 
willingly ^ but on Sundayes or great dayes. Hee 
admits no vaine or idle names, but such as are 
usuall and accustomed.^ Hee says that prayer with 
great devotion where God is thanked for caUing 
us to the knowledg of his grace, Baptisme being 
a blessing that the world hath not the like. He 
wilHngly and cheerfully crosseth the child, and 
thinketh the Ceremony not onely innocent but 
reverend. He instructeth the God-fathers and 
God-mothers that it is no complementall or hght 



IN SACRAMENTS 77 

thing to sustain that place, but a great honour 
and no less burden, as being done both in the 
presence of God and his Saints, and by way of 
undertaking for a Christian soul. He adviseth 
all to call to minde their Baptism often ; for if 
wise men have thought it the best way of preserv- 
ing a state to reduce it to its principles by which 
it grew great, certainly it is the safest course for 
Christians also to meditate on their Baptisme 
often (being the first step into their great and 
glorious calling) and upon what termes and with 
what vowes they were Baptized. At the times of 
the Holy Communion he first takes order with the 
Church- Wardens that the elements be of the best, 
not cheape or course,^ much lesse ill-tasted or 
unwholesome. Secondly, hee considers and looks 
into the ignorance or carelessness of his flock, and 
accordingly applies himselfe with Catechizings and 
lively exhortations, not on the Sunday of the Com- 
munion only (for then it is too late,) but the Sun- 
day, or Sundayes before the Communion, or on 
the Eves of all those dayes. If there be any who, 
having not received yet, is to enter into this great 
work, he takes the more pains with them, that hee 
may lay the foundation of future Blessings. The 
time of every one's first receiving is not so much 
by yeers as by understanding, particularly the rule 
may be this: ^Vhen any one can distinguish the 
Sacramentall from common bread, knowing the 
Institution and the difference, hee ought to receive. 



78 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

of what age soever. Children and youths are 
usually deferred too long, under pretence of de- 
votion to the Sacrament, but it is for want of In- 
struction; their understandings being ripe enough 
for ill things, and why not then for better ? But 
Parents and Masters should make hast in this, as 
to a great purchase for their children and servants; 
which while they deferr, both sides suffer: the one, 
in wanting many excitings of grace; the other, 
in being worse served and obeyed. The saying of 
the Catechism is necessary, but not enough; be- 
cause to answer in form may still admit ignorance. 
But the Questions must be propounded loosely 
and wildely,^ and then the Answerer will discover 
what hee is. Thirdly, For the manner of receiving, 
as the Parson useth all reverence himself, so he 
administers to none but to the reverent. The 
Feast indeed requires sitting, because it is a Feast ; 
but man's unpreparednesse asks kneeKng. Hee 
that comes to the Sacrament hath the confidence 
of a Guest, and hee that kneels confesseth himself 
an unworthy one and therefore differs from other 
Feasters; but hee that sits, or lies, puts up to^ an 
Apostle. Contentiousnesse in a feast of Charity 
is more scandal! then any posture. Fourthly, 
touching the frequency of the Communion, the 
Parson celebrates it, if not duly once a month, yet 
at least five or six times in the year: as, at Easter, 
Christmasse, Whitsuntide, afore and after Har- 
vest, and the beginning of Lent. And this hee doth 



IN SACRAMENTS 79 

not onely for the benefit of the work, but also for 
the discharge of the Church- wardens ; who being 
to present all that receive not thrice a year, if 
there be but three Communions, neither can all the 
people so order their affairs as to receive just at 
those times, nor the Church- Wardens so well take 
notice who receive thrice and who not. 



Chapter XXIII 
The Parson's Completenesse 

THE Countrey Parson desires to be all to his 
Parish, and not onely a Pastour, but a 
Lawyer also, and a Physician. Therefore hee 
endures not that any of his Flock should go to 
Law, but in any Controversie that they should 
resort to him as their Judge. To this end he hath 
gotten to himself some insight in things ordinarily 
incident and controverted, by experience and by 
reading some initiatory treatises in the Law, with 
DaltorCs Justice of Peace ^ and the Abridgements 
of the Statutes, as also by discourse with men 
of that profession, whom he hath ever some cases 
to ask when he meets with them ; holding that 
rule that to put men to discourse of that wherein 
they are most eminent is the most gainf uU way of 
Conversation. Yet when ever any controversie is 
brought to him he never decides it alone, but 
sends for three or four of the ablest of the Parish 
to hear the cause with him, whom he makes to 
dehver their opinion first; out of which he gathers, 
in case he be ignorant himself, what to hold; and 
so the thing passeth with more authority and 
lesse envy. In Judging, he foUowes that which is 



HIS COMPLETENESSE 81 

altogether right ; so that if the poorest man of the 
Parish detain but a pin unjustly from the richest, 
he absolutely restores it as a Judge; but when he 
hath so done, then he assumes the Parson and 
exhorts to Charity. Neverthelesse, there may hap- 
pen sometimes some cases wherein he chooseth to 
permit his Parishioners rather to make use of the 
Law then himself; As in cases of an obscure and 
dark nature, not easily determinable by Lawyers 
themselves ; or in cases of high consequence, as 
estabHshing of inheritances; or Lastly, when the 
persons in difference are of a contentious disposi- 
tion and cannot be gained, but that they still fall 
from all compromises that have been made. But 
then he shews them how to go to Law, even as 
Brethren and not as enemies, neither avoyding 
therefore one another's company, much less de- 
faming one another. Now as the Parson is in Law, 
so is he in sicknesse also: if there be any of his 
flock sick, hee is their Physician, or at least his 
Wife, of whom in stead of the quahties of the 
world he asks no other but to have the skill of 
heahng a wound or helping the sick. But if neither 
himselfe nor his wife have the skil, and his means 
serve, hee keepes some young practitioner in his 
house for the benefit of his Parish, whom yet he 
ever exhorts not to exceed his bounds, but in tickle^ 
cases to call in help. If all fail, then he keeps good 
correspondence with some neighbour Phisician, 
and entertaines him for the Cure of his Parish. 



82 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

Yet is it easie for any Scholer to attaine to such a 
measure of Phisick as may be of much use to him 
both for himself and others. This is done by seeing 
one Anatomy,^ reading one Book of Phisick, having 
one Herball by him. And let Fernelius^ be the 
Phisick Authour, for he writes briefly, neatly, and 
judiciously; especially let his Method of Phisick be 
dihgently perused, as being the practicall part and 
of most use. Now both the reading of him and 
the knowing of herbs may be done at such times 
as they may be an help and a recreation to more 
divine studies. Nature serving Grace both in com- 
fort of diversion and the benefit of application 
when need requires ; as also by way of illustration, 
even as our Saviour made plants and seeds to 
teach the people. For he was the true householder, 
who bringeth out of his treasure things new and 
old; the old things of Philosophy, and the new of 
Grace; and maketh the one serve the other. And 
I conceive our Saviour did this for three reasons : 
first, that by famihar things he might make his 
Doctrine shp the more easily into the hearts even 
of the meanest. Secondly, that labouring people 
(whom he chiefly considered) might have every 
where monuments of his Doctrine, remembring in 
gardens his mustard-seed and lillyes; in the field, 
his seed-corn and tares; and so not be drowned 
altogether in the works of their vocation, but some- 
times Kft up their minds to better things, even in 
the midst of their pains. Thirdly, that he might 



mS COMPLETENESSE 83 

set a Copy for Parsons. In the knowledge of sim- 
ples, wherein the manifold wisedome of God is 
wonderfully to be seen, one thing would be care- 
fully observed : which is, to know what herbs may 
be used in stead of drugs of the same nature, and 
to make the garden the shop. For home-bred 
medicines are both more easie for the Parson's 
purse, and more famihar for all men's bodyes. So, 
where the Apothecary useth either for loosing, 
Rubarb, or for binding, Bolearmena,^ the Parson 
useth damask or white Roses for the one, and 
plantaine, shepherd's purse, knot-grasse for the 
other, and that with better successe. As for spices, 
he doth not onely prefer home-bred things before 
them, but condemns them for vanities and so 
shuts them out of his family, esteeming that there 
is no spice comparable, for herbs, to rosemary, 
time, savoury, mints; and for seeds, to Fennell 
and Carroway seeds. Accordingly, for salves his 
wife seeks not the city, but preferrs her garden and 
fields before all outlandish gums. And surely 
hyssope, valerian, mercury, adder's tongue, yerrow, 
mehlot, and Saint Johns wort made into a salve; 
And Elder, camomill, mallowes, comphrey and 
smallage made into a Poultis, have done great and 
rare cures. In curing of any, the Parson and his 
Family use to premise prayers, for tliis is to cure 
like a Parson, and this raiseth the action from the 
Shop to the Church. But though the Parson sets 
forward all Charitable deeds, yet he looks not in 



84 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

this point of Curing beyond his own Parish, except 
the person bee so poor that he is not able to reward 
the Phisician; for as hee is Charitable, so he is just 
also. Now it is a justice and debt to the Common- 
wealth he lives in not to incroach on other's Pro- 
fessions, but to live on his own. And justice is the 
ground of Charity. 



Chapter XXIV 

The Parson Arguing 

rriHE Countrey Parson, if there be any of his 
A parish that hold strange Doctrins, useth all 
possible diligence to reduce^ them to the common 
Faith. The first means he useth is Prayer, beseech- 
ing the Father of lights to open their eyes, and to 
give him power so to fit his discourse to them that 
it may effectually pierce their hearts and convert 
them. The second means is a very loving and 
sweet usage of them, both in going to and sending 
for them often, and in finding out Courtesies to 
place on them; as in their tithes or otherwise. The 
third means is the observation what is the main 
foundation and pillar of their cause, wherein they 
rely; as if he be a Papist, the Church is the hinge 
he tumes on; if a Scismatick, scandall. Wherefore 
the Parson hath diligently examined these two with 
himselfe, as what the Church is, how it began, how 
it proceeded, whether it be a rule to it selfe, whether 
it hath a rule, whether having a rule, it ought not 
to be guided by it; whether any rule in the world 
be obscure, and how then should the best be so, at 
least in fundamentall things, the obscurity in some 
points being the exercise of the Church, the light 



86 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

in the foundations being the guide; The Church 
needing both an evidence, and an exercise. So for 
Scandall : what scandall is, when given or taken ; 
whether, there being two precepts, one of obey- 
ing Authority, the other of not giving scandall, 
that ought not to be preferred, especially since in 
disobeying there is scandall also ; whether things 
once indifferent being made by the precept of 
Authority more then indifferent, it be in our power 
to omit or refuse them. These and the Hke points 
hee hath accurately digested, having ever besides 
two great helps and powerfull perswaders on his 
side : the one, a strict reKgious life ; the other an 
humble, and ingenuous search of truth; being 
unmoved in arguing and voyd of all contentious- 
nesse : which are two great lights able to dazle the 
eyes of the mis-led, while they consider that God 
cannot be wanting to them in Doctrine to whom 
he is so gracious in Life. 



Chapter XXV 
The Parson Punishing 

WHENSOEVER the Countrey Parson pro- 
ceeds so farre as to call in Authority, and 
to do such things of legall opposition either in the 
presenting or punishing of any as the vulgar ever 
consters^ for signes of ill will, he forbears not in 
any wise to use the deUnquent as before in his 
behaviour and carriage towards him, not avoyding 
his company or doing any thing of aversenesse, 
save in the very act of punishment. Neither doth 
he esteem him for an enemy, but as a brother 
still, except some small and temporary estranging 
may corroborate the punishment to a better sub- 
duing and humbhng of the dehnquent; which if 
it happily take effect, he then comes on the faster, 
and makes so much the more of him as before 
he alienated himselfe ; doubhng his regards, and 
shewing by all means that the dehnquent's retume 
is to his advantage. 



Chapter XXVI 
The Parson's Eye 

THE Countrey Parson at spare times from 
action, standing on a hill and considering 
his Flock, discovers two sorts of vices and two 
sorts of vicious persons. There are some vices 
whose natures are alwayes cleer and evident, as 
Adultery, Murder, Hatred, Lying, &c. There are 
other vices whose natures, at least in the begin- 
ning, are dark and obscure : as Covetousnesse and 
Gluttony. So hkewise there are some persons who 
abstain not even from known sins ; there are 
others who when they know a sin evidently, they 
commit it not. It is true indeed they are long a 
knowing it, being partiall to themselves and witty 
to others who shall reprove them from it. A man 
may be both Covetous and Intemperate, and yet 
hear Sermons against both and himselfe condemn 
both in good earnest. And the reason hereof is 
because the natures of these vices being not evi- 
dently discussed, or known commonly, the begin- 
nings of them are not easily observable. And the 
beginnings of them are not observed because of 
the suddain passing from that which was just now 
lawfuU to that which is presently unlawfull, even 



HIS EYE 89 

in one continued action. So a man dining, eats 
at first lawfully; but proceeding on, comes to do 
unlawfully, even before he is aware; not knowing 
the bounds of the action, nor when his eating 
begins to be unlawfull. So a man storing up mony 
for his necessary provisions, both in present for his 
family and in future for his children, hardly per- 
ceives when his storing becomes unlawfull. Yet 
is there a period for his storing, and a point or 
center when his storing, which was even now 
good, passeth from good to bad. Wherefore the 
Parson being true to his businesse, hath exactly 
sifted the definitions of all vertues and vices ; es- 
pecially canvasing those whose natures are most 
stealing and beginnings uncertaine. Particularly 
concerning these two vices, not because they are 
all that are of this dark and creeping disposition, 
but for example sake and because they are most 
common, he thus thinks : first, for covetousnes, he 
lays this ground. Whosoever when a just occasion 
cals, either spends not at all, or not in some pro- 
portion to God's blessing upon him, is covetous. 
The reason of the ground is manifest, because 
wealth is given to that end to supply our occasions. 
Now if I do not give every thing its end, I abuse 
the Creature, I am false to my reason which should 
guide me, I offend the supreme Judg in perverting 
that order wliich he hath set both to things and to 
reason. The application of the ground would be 
infinite ; but in brief, a poor man is an occasion, 



90 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

my countrey is an occasion, my friend is an occa- 
sion, my Table is an occasion, my apparell is an 
occasion; if in all these, and those more which 
concerne me, I either do nothing, or pinch, and 
scrape, and squeeze blood undecently to the station 
wherein God hath placed me, I am Covetous. 
More particularly, and to give one instance for all, 
if God have given me servants, and I either pro- 
vide too little for them or that which is unwhole- 
some, being sometimes baned^ meat, sometimes too 
salt, and so not competent nourishment, I am 
Covetous. I bring this example because men 
usually think that servants for their mony are as 
other things that they buy, even as a piece of wood, 
which they may cut, or hack, or throw into the 
fire, and so they pay them their wages all is well. 
Nay, to descend yet more particularly, if a man 
hath wherewithal! to buy a spade, and yet hee 
chuseth rather to use his neighbour's and wear out 
that, he is covetous. Nevertheless, few bring covet- 
ousness thus low, or consider it so narrowly, which 
yet ought to be done, since there is a Justice in the 
least things, and for the least there shall be a judg- 
ment. Countrey-people are full of these petty 
injustices, being cunning to make use of another 
and spare themselves. And Scholers ought to be 
dihgent in the observation of these, and driving 
of their generall Schoole rules ever to the smallest 
actions of Life; which while they dwell in their 
bookes, they will never finde, but being seated in 



HIS EYE 91 

the Countrey and doing their duty faithfully, they 
will soon discover ; especially if they carry their 
eyes ever open and fix them on their charge, and 
not on their preferment. Secondly, for Gluttony, 
The Parson lays this ground, He that either for 
quantity eats more than his health or imployments 
will bear, or for quality is Hcorous after dainties, is 
a glutton; as he that eats more than his estate will 
bear, is a Prodigall ; and he that eats offensively 
to the Company, either in his order or length 
of eating, is scandalous and uncharitable. These 
three rules generally comprehend the faults of 
eating, and the truth of them needs no proof e; so 
that men must eat neither to the disturbance of 
their health, nor of their affairs, (which, being over- 
burdened or studying dainties too much, they 
cannot wel dispatch) nor of their estate, nor of 
their brethren. One act in these things is bad, but 
it is the custome and habit that names a glutton. 
Many think they are at more hberty then they are, 
as if they were masters of their health, and so they 
will stand to the pain all is well. But to eat to one's 
hurt comprehends, besides the hurt, an act against 
reason, because it is unnaturall to hurt one's self; 
and this they are not masters of. Yet of hurtfull 
things, I am more bound to abstain from those 
which by mine own experience I have found hurt- 
full then from those which by a Common tradi- 
tion and vulgar knowledge are reputed to be so. 
That which is said of hurtfull meats extends to 



92 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

hurtfull drinks also. As for the quantity, touching 
our imployments, none must eat so as to disable 
themselves from a fit discharging either of Divine 
duties or duties of their caUing. So that if after 
Dinner they are not fit (or un-weeldy) either to 
pray or work, they are gluttons. Not that all must 
presently work after dinner, (For they rather must 
not work, especially Students, and those that are 
weakly,) but that they must rise so as that it is not 
meate or drinke that hinders them from working. 
To guide them in this there are three rules : first, 
the custome and knowledg of their own body, and 
what it can well disgest ; The second, the feeKng 
of themselves in time of eating, which because it 
is deceitfuU; (for one thinks in eating, that he can 
eat more, then afterwards he finds true:) The 
third is the observation with what appetite they sit 
down. This last rule joyned with the first never 
fails. For knowing what one usually can well 
disgest and feeUng when I go to meat in what 
disposition I am, either hungry or not, according 
as I feele my self either I take my wonted propor- 
tion or diminish of it. Yet Phisicians bid those 
that would live in health not keep an uniform diet, 
but to feed variously, now more, now lesse. And 
Gerson,^ a spirituall man, wisheth all to incline 
rather to too much than to too little; his reason is, 
because diseases of exinanition are more danger- 
ous then diseases of repletion. But the Parson 
distinguisheth according to his double aime, either 



HIS EYE 93 

of Abstinence a moral vertue or Mortification a 
divine. When he deals with any that is heavy and 
carnall, he gives him those freer rules ; but when 
he meets with a refined and heavenly disposition, 
he carryes them higher, even sometimes to a for- 
getting of themselves, knowing that there is one 
who when they forget remembers for them ; As 
when the people hungred and thirsted after our 
Saviour's Doctrine, and tarryed so long at it that 
they would have fainted had they returned empty. 
He suffered it not; but rather made food miracu- 
lously then suffered so good desires to miscarry. 



Chapter XXVII 
The Parson in Mirth 

THE Countrey Parson is generally sad, because 
hee knows nothing but the Crosse of Christ, 
his minde being defixed * on and with those nailes 
wherewith his Master was. Or if he have any lei- 
sure to look off from thence, he meets continually 
with two most sad spectacles. Sin, and Misery, 
God dishonoured every day and man afflicted. 
Neverthelesse, he somtimes refresheth himself, as 
knowing that nature will not bear everlasting 
droopings, and that pleasantnesse of disposition is 
a great key to do good; not onely because all men 
shun the company of perpetuall severity, but also 
for that when they are in company instructions 
seasoned with pleasantness both enter sooner and 
roote deeper. Wherefore he condescends to hu- 
mane frailties both in himselfe and others, and 
intermingles some mirth in his discourses occasion- 
ally according to the pulse of the hearer. 



Chapter XXVIII 

The Parson in Contempt 

THE Countrey Parson knows well that both 
for the generall ignominy which is cast upon 
the profession, and much more for those rules 
which out of his choysest judgment hee hath re- 
solved to observe, and which are described in this 
Book, he must be despised ; because this hath 
been the portion of God his Master and of God's 
Saints his Brethren, and this is foretold that it 
shall be so still until things be no more. Never- 
thelesse, according to the Apostle's rule he en- 
deavours that none shall despise him ; especially 
in his own Parish he suffers it not to his utmost 
power ; for that where contempt is, there is no 
room for instruction. This he procures, first, by 
his holy and unblameable life, which carries a 
reverence with it even above contempt. Secondly, 
by a courteous carriage and winning behaviour: 
he that wil be respected, must respect ; doing 
kindnesses but receiving none, at least of those 
who are apt to despise; for this argues a height 
and eminency of mind which is not easily despised, 
except it degenerate to pride. Thirdly, by a bold 
and impartial reproof^ even of the best in the 



96 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

Parish, when occasion requires ; for this may pro- 
duce hatred in those that are reproved, but never 
contempt either in them, or others. Lastly, if the 
contempt shall proceed so far as to do any thing 
punishable by law, as contempt is apt to do, if it 
be not thwarted, the Parson having a due respect 
both to the person and to the cause, referreth the 
whole matter to the examination and punishment 
of those which are in Authority ; that so the sen- 
tence lighting upon one, the example may reach 
to all. But if the Contempt be not punishable 
by Law, or being so the Parson think it in his 
descretion either unfit or bootelesse to contend, 
then when any despises him, he takes it either in 
an humble way, saying nothing at all; or else in a 
sKghting way, shewing that reproaches touch him 
no more then a stone thrown against heaven, 
where he is and lives ; or in a sad way, grieved at 
his own and others' sins, which continually breake 
God's Laws and dishonour him with those mouths 
which he continually fils and feeds ; or else in a 
doctrinall way, saying to the contemner, Alas, 
why do you thus ? you hurt your self e, not me ; he 
that throws a stone at another hits himself e; and 
so between gentle reasoning and pitying he over- 
comes the evill; or lastly, in a Triumphant way, 
being glad and joyfuU that hee is made conform- 
able to his Master; and being in the world as he 
was, hath this undoubted pledge of his salvation. 
These are the five shields wherewith the Godly 



IN CONTEMPT 97 

receive the darts of the wicked ; leaving anger and 
retorting and revenge to the children of the world, 
whom another's ill mastereth and leadeth captive 
without any resistance, even in resistance to the 
same destruction. For while they resist the person 
that reviles, they resist not the evill which takes 
hold of them and is farr the worse enemy. 



Chapter XXIX 
The Parson with his Church-Wardens 

THE Countrey Parson doth often, both pub- 
lickly and privately instruct his Church- 
Wardens what a great Charge lyes upon them, 
and that indeed the whole order and discipline of 
the Parish is put into their hands. If himself e 
reforme anything, it is out of the overflowing of 
his Conscience, whereas they are to do it by Com- 
mand and by Oath. Neither hath the place its 
dignity from the Ecclesiasticall Laws only, since 
even by the Common Statute-Law they are taken 
for a kinde of Corporation, as being persons en- 
abled by that Name to take moveable goods or 
chattels, and to sue and to be sued at the Law 
concerning such goods for the use and profit of 
their Parish; and by the same Law they are to 
levy penalties for negligence in resorting to church, 
or for disorderly carriage in time of divine service. 
Wherefore the Parson suffers not the place to be 
vilified or debased by being cast on the lower 
ranke of people, but invites and urges the best 
unto it, shewing that they do not loose or go lesse 
but gaine by it ; it being the greatest honor of this 
world to do God and his chosen service, or as 



WITH HIS CHURCH-WARDENS 99 

David says, to be even a door-keeper in the house 
of God. Now the Canons being the Church- War- 
den's rule, the Parson adviseth them to read or 
hear them read often, as also the visitation Arti- 
cles which are grounded upon the Canons, that so 
they may know their duty and keep their oath 
the better. In which regard, considering the great 
Consequence of their place and more of their 
oath, he wisheth them by no means to spare any, 
though never so great ; but if after gentle and 
neighbourly admonitions they still persist in ill, 
to present them ; yea though they be tenants, or 
otherwise ingaged to the deUnquent. For their 
obUgation to God and their own soul is above 
any temporall tye. Do well and right, and let the 
world sinke. 



Chapter XXX 
The Parson's Consideration of Providence 

THE Countrey Parson considering the great 
aptnesse Countrey people have to think that 
all things come by a kind of naturall course, and 
that if they sow and soyle their grounds, they must 
have corn; if they keep and fodder well their 
cattel, they must have milk and Calves; labours 
to reduce them to see God's hand in all things, and 
to beleeve that things are not set in such an in- 
evitable order but that God often changeth it 
according as he sees fit, either for reward or pun- 
ishment. To this end he represents to his flock 
that God hath and exerciseth a threefold power in 
every thing which concemes man. The first is a 
sustaining power, the second a governing power, 
the third a spirituall power. By his sustaining 
power he preserves and actuates every thing in his 
being, so that come doth not grow by any other 
vertue then by that which he continually supplyes, 
as the com needs it ; without which supply the 
corne would instantly dry up, as a river would 
if the fountain were stopped. And it is observable 
that if anything could presume of an inevitable 
course and constancy in their operations, cer- 



CONSIDERATION OF PROVIDENCE 101 

tainly it should be either the sun in heaven or the 
fire on earth, by reason of their fierce, strong, and 
violent natures ; yet when God pleased, the sun 
stood stil, the fire burned not. By God's gov- 
erning power he preserves and orders the refer- 
ences of things one to the other, so that though 
the corn do grow and be preserved in that act 
by his sustaining power, yet if he suite not other 
things to the growth, as seasons and weather and 
other accidents by his governing power, the fairest 
harvests come to nothing. And it is observable, 
that God dehghts to have men feel and acknow- 
ledg and reverence his power, and therefore he 
often overturnes things when they are thought 
past danger ; that is his time of interposing : As 
when a Merchant hath a ship come home after 
many a storme which it hath escaped, he destroyes 
it sometimes in the very Haven; or if the goods 
be housed, a fire hath broken forth and suddenly 
consumed them. Now this he doth that men 
should perpetuate and not break off their acts 
of dependance, how faire soever the opportunities 
present themselves. So that if a farmer should 
depend upon God all the yeer, and being ready to 
put hand to sickle shall then secure himself and 
think all cock-sure ; then God sends such weather 
as lays the corn and destroys it; or if he depend 
on God further, even till he imbarn his corn, and 
then think all sure; God sends a fire, and con- 
sumes all that he hath; For that he ought not to 



102 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

break off, but to continue his dependance on God, 
not onely before the corne is inned, but after also; 
and indeed to depend and fear continually. The 
third power is spirituall, by which God turnes all 
outward blessings to inward advantages. So that 
if a Farmer hath both a faire harvest, and that 
also well inned and imbarned and continuing 
safe there, yet if God give him not the Grace to 
use and utter this well, all his advantages are to 
his losse. Better were his come burnt then not 
spiritually improved. And it is observable in this, 
how God's goodnesse strives with man's refracto- 
rinesse. Man would sit down at this world; 
God bids him sell it and purchase a better. Just 
as a Father, who hath in his hand an apple and 
a piece of Gold under it ; the Child comes, and 
with pulHng gets the apple out of his Father's 
hand; his Father bids him throw it away and he 
will give him the gold for it, which the Child 
utterly refusing, eats it and is troubled with 
wormes.^ So is the carnall and wilfuU man with 
the worm of the grave in this world, and the worm 
of Conscience in the next. 



Chapter XXXI 
The Parson in Liberty 

THE Countrey Parson observing the manifold 
wiles of Satan (who playes his part sometimes 
in drawing God's Servants from him, sometimes in 
perplexing them in the service of God) stands fast 
in the Liberty wherewith Christ hath made us 
free. This Liberty he compasseth by one distinc- 
tion, and that is, of what is Necessary and what is 
Additionary. As for example : It is necessary, that 
all Christians should pray twice a day, every day 
of the week, and four times on Sunday, if they 
be well. This is so necessary and essentiall to a 
Christian that he cannot without this maintain 
himself in a Christian state. Besides this, the 
Godly have ever added some houres of prayer, 
as at nine, or at three, or at midnight, or as they 
think fit and see cause, or rather as God's spirit 
leads them. But these prayers are not necessary, 
but additionary. Now it so happens that the godly 
petitioner upon some emergent interruption in the 
day, or by oversleeping himself at night, omits his 
additionary prayer. Upon this his mind begins to 
be perplexed and trou})Ied, and Satan, who knows 
the exigent,* blows the fire, endeavouring to dis- 



104 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

order the Christian and put him out of his station, 
and to inlarge the perplexity, untill it spread and 
taint his other duties of piety, which none can per- 
form so wel in trouble as in calmness. Here the 
Parson interposeth with his distinction, and shews 
the perplexed Christian that this prayer being 
additionary, not necessary, taken in, not com- 
manded, the omission thereof upon just occasion 
ought by no means trouble him. God knows the 
occasion as wel as he, and He is as a gracious 
Father, who more accepts a common course of 
devotion then dislikes an occasionall interruption. 
And of this he is so to assure himself as to admit no 
scruple, but to go on as cheerfully as if he had not 
been interrupted. By this it is evident that the 
distinction is of singular use and comfort, espe- 
cially to pious minds, which are ever tender and 
delicate. But here there are two Cautions to be 
added. First, that this interruption proceed not out 
of slacknes or coldness, which will appear if the 
Pious soul foresee and prevent such interruptions, 
what he may before they come, and when for all 
that they do come he be a little affected therewith, 
but not afflicted or troubled ; if he resent it to a 
mishke, but not a griefe. Secondly, that this inter- 
ruption proceede not out of shame. As for exam- 
ple: A godly man, not out of superstition, but of 
reverence to God's house, resolves whenever he 
enters into a Church to kneel down and pray, 
either blessing God that he will be pleased to 



IN LIBERTY 105 

dwell among men; or beseeching him, that when- 
ever he repaires to his house, he may behave him- 
self so as befits so great a presence; and this 
briefly. But it happens that neer the place where 
he is to pray he spyes some scoffing ruffian, who is 
Ukely to deride him for his paines. If he now shall 
either for fear or shame break his custome, he 
shaU do passing ill. So much the rather ought he 
to proceed as that by this he may take into his 
Prayer humihation also. On the other side, if I 
am to visit the sick in haste and my neerest way ly 
through the Church, I will not doubt to go without 
staying to pray there (but onely, as I passe, in my 
heart) because this kinde of Prayer is additionary, 
not necessary, and the other duty overweighs it. 
So that if any scruple arise, I will throw it away, 
and be most confident that God is not displeased. 
This distinction may runne through all Christian 
duties, and it is a great stay and setling to religious 
souls. 



Chapter XXXII 
The Parson's Surveys 

THE Countrey Parson hath not onely taken a 
particular Servey of the faults of his own 
Parish, but a generall also of the diseases of the 
time, that so when his occasions carry him abroad 
or bring strangers to him he may be the better 
armed to encounter them. The great and nationall 
sin of this Land he esteems to be Idlenesse ; ^ great 
in it selfe, and great in Consequence. For when 
men have nothing to do, then they fall to drink, 
to steal, to whore, to scoffe, to revile, to all sorts 
of gamings. Come, say they, we have nothing to 
do, lets go to the Tavern, or to the stews or what 
not. Wherefore the Parson strongly opposeth this 
sin, whersoever he goes. And because Idleness is 
twofold, the one in having no calling, the other in 
walking carelesly in our calling, he first represents 
to every body the necessity of a vocation. The 
reason of this assertion is taken from the nature of 
man, wherein God hath placed two great Instru- 
ments, Reason in the soul and a hand in the Body, 
as ingagements of working ; So that even in Para- 
dise man had a calling, and how much more out of 
Paradise, when the evills which he is now subject 



HIS SURVEYS 107 

unto may be prevented, or diverted by reasonable 
imployment. Besides, every gift or ability is a tal- 
ent to be accounted for and to be improved to our 
Master's Advantage. Yet is it also a debt to our 
Countrey to have a Calling, and it concernes the 
Common-wealth that none should be idle, but all 
busied. Lastly, riches are the blessing of God and 
the great instrument of doing admirable good; 
therfore all are to procure them honestly and sea- 
sonably, when they are not better imployed. Now 
this reason crosseth not our Saviour's precept of 
selling what we have, because when we have sold 
all and given it to the poor, we must not be idle, 
but labour to get more that we may give more, 
according to St. Paul's rule, Ephes. 4. 28, 1 Thes. 
4. 1 1, 12. So that our Saviour's selHng is so far from 
crossing Saint P mil's working that it rather estab- 
Hsheth it, since they that have nothing are fittest to 
work. Now because the onely opposer to this Doc- 
trine is the Gallant who is witty enough to abuse 
both others and himself, and who is ready to ask 
if he shall mend shoos, or what he shall do ? Ther- 
fore the Parson unmoved sheweth that ingenuous 
and fit imployment is never wanting to those that 
seek it. But if it should be, the Assertion stands 
thus : All are either to have a Calhng or prepare 
for it. He that hath or can have yet no imployment, 
if he truly and seriously prepare for it, he is safe 
and within bounds. Wherefore all are either pre- 
sently to enter into a Calling, if they be fit for it, 



108 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

and it for them; or else to examine with care and 
advice what they are fittest for, and to prepare for 
that with all diligence. But it will not be amisse 
in this exceeding usefuU point to descend to par- 
ticulars, for exactnesse lyes in particulars. Men 
are either single, or marryed. The marryed and 
house-keeper hath his hands full, if he do what 
he ought to do. For there are two branches of 
his affaires: first, the improvement of his family 
by bringing them up in the fear and nurture of 
the Lord ; and secondly, the improvement of his 
grounds, by drowning^ or draining, stocking or 
fencing, and ordering his land to the best advan- 
tage both of himself and his neighbours. The 
Italian says. None fouls his hands in his own busi- 
nesse ; and it is an honest and just care, so it 
exceeds not bounds, for every one to imploy him- 
selfe to the advancement of his affairs, that hee may 
have wherewithall to do good. But his family is 
his best care, to labour Christian soules and raise 
them to their height, even to heaven ; to dresse 
and prune them, and take as much joy in a straight- 
growing childe or servant as a Gardiner doth in a 
choice tree. Could men finde out this dehght, they 
would seldome be from home; whereas now, of 
any place, they are least there. But if after all this 
care well dispatched, the house-keeper's Family 
be so small and his dexterity so great that he have 
leisure to look out, the Village or Parish which 
either he lives in or is neer unto it is his imploy- 



HIS SURVEYS 109 

ment. Hee considers every one there, and either 
helps them in particular or hath generall Proposi- 
tions to the whole Towne or Hamlet of advancing 
the pubhck Stock, and managing Commons or 
Woods, according as the place suggests. But if hee 
may bee of the Commission of Peace, there is no- 
thing to that.^ No Common-wealth in the world 
hath a braver Institution then that of Justices of 
the Peace. For it is both a security to the King, 
who hath so many dispersed Officers at his beck 
throughout the Ejngdome accountable for the 
pubhck good, and also an honourable Imploy- 
ment of a Gentle or Noble-man in the Country 
he hves in, inabling him with power to do good, 
and to restrain all those who else might both 
trouble him and the whole State. Wherefore it 
behoves all who are come to the gravitie and ripe- 
nesse of judgement for so excellent a Place not 
to refuse, but rather to procure it. And whereas 
there are usually three Objections made against 
the Place : the one, the abuse of it by taking petty- 
Countrey-bribes ; the other, the casting of it on 
mean persons, especially in some Shires ; and 
lastly, the trouble of it ; These are so far from 
deterring any good man from the place that they 
kindle them rather to redeem the Dignity either 
from true faults or unjust aspersions. Now for 
single men, they are either Heirs or younger Bro- 
thers. The Heirs are to prepare in all the fore- 
mentioned points against the time of their practice. 



110 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

Therefore they are to mark their Father's discre- 
tion in ordering his House and Affairs, and also 
elsewhere when they see any remarkable point of 
Education or good husbandry, and to transplant 
it in time to his own home with the same care 
as others when they meet with good fruit get a 
graffe of the tree, inriching their Orchard and 
neglecting their House. Besides, they are to read 
Books of Law and Justice, especially the Stat- 
utes at large. As for better Books of Divinity, they 
are not in this Consideration, because we are about 
a Calling and a preparation thereunto. But chiefly 
and above all things, they are to frequent Sessions 
and Sizes ; for it is both an honor which they owe 
to the Reverend Judges and Magistrates to attend 
them, at least in their Shire, and it is a great ad- 
vantage to know the practice of the Land ; for our 
Law is Practice. Sometimes he may go to Court, 
as the eminent place both of good and ill. At other 
times he is to travell over the King's Dominions, 
cutting out the Kingdome into Portions, which 
every yeer he surveys peece-meal. When there is a 
Parhament, he is to endeavour by all means to be 
a Knight or Burgess there; for there is no School 
to a Parhament. And when he is there, he must not 
only be a morning man,^ but at Committees also ; 
for there the particulars are exactly discussed 
which are brought from thence to the House but in 
generall. When none of these occasions call him 
abroad, every morning that hee is at home he must 



HIS SURVEYS 111 

either ride the Great Horse * or exercise some of his 
Mihtary gestures. For all Gentlemen that are not 
weakned^ and disarmed with sedentary lives are to 
know the use of their Arms ; and as the Husband- 
man labours for them, so must they fight for and 
defend them when occasion calls. This is the duty 
of each to other, which they ought to fulfill. And 
the Parson is a lover and exciter to justice in all 
things, even as John the Baptist squared out to 
every one (even to Souldiers) what to do. As for 
younger Brothers, those whom the Parson finds 
loose and not ingaged into some Profession by 
their Parents, whose neglect in this point is intoler- 
able and a shamefuU wrong both to the Common- 
wealth and their own House ; To them, after he 
hath shewed the unlawfulness of spending the day 
in dressing, Complementing, visiting and sporting, 
he first commends the study of the Civill Law, 
as a brave and wise knowledg, the Professours 
whereof were much imployed by Queen Elizabeth, 
because it is the key of Commerce and discovers 
the Rules of forraine Nations. Secondly, he com- 
mends the Mathematicks as the only wonder 
working knowledg, and therefore requiring the 
best spirits. After the severall knowledg of these, 
he adviseth to insist and dwell chiefly on the 
two noble branches therof, of Fortification and 
Navigation; The one being usefull to all Coun- 
treys, and the other especially to Rands. But if 
the young Gallant think these Courses dull and 



112 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

phlegmatick, where can he busie himself better 
then in those new Plantations^ and discoveryes 
which are not only a noble but also, as they may 
be handled, a reUgious imployment ? Or let him 
travel into Germany and France, and observing 
the Artifices and Manufactures there, transplant 
them hither, as divers have done lately to our 
Countrey's advantage. 



Chapter XXXIH 
The Parson*s Library 

THE Countrey Parson's Library is a holy Life; 
for besides the blessing that that brings upon 
it, there being a promise that if the Kingdome of 
God be first sought all other things shall be added, 
even it selfe is a Sermon. For the temptations 
with which a good man is beset, and the ways 
which he used to overcome them, being told to 
another, whether in private conference or in the 
Church, are a Sermon. Hee that hath considered 
how to carry himseK at table about his appetite, 
if he tell this to another, preacheth ; and much 
more feehngly and judiciously then he writes his 
rules of temperance out of bookes. So that the 
Parson having studied and mastered all his lusts 
and affections within, and the whole Army of 
Temptations without, hath ever so many sermons 
ready penn'd as he hath victories. And it fares 
in this as it doth in Physick: He that hath been 
sick of a Consumption and knows what recovered 
him, is a Physitian so far as he meetes with the 
same disease and temper; and can much better 
and particularly do it then he that is generally 
learned, and was never sick. And if the same 



114 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

person had been sick of all diseases and were re- 
covered of all by things that he knew, there were 
no such Physician as he, both for sldll and tender- 
nesse. Just so it is in Divinity, and that not with- 
out manifest reason: for though the temptations 
may be diverse in divers Christians, yet the victory 
is alike in all, being by the self -same Spirit. Neither 
is this true onely in the military state of a Chris- 
tian life, but even in the peaceable also ; when the 
servant of God, freed for a while from temptation, 
in a quiet sweetnesse seeks how to please his God. 
Thus the Parson, considering that repentance is 
the great vertue of the Gospel and one of the first 
steps of pleasing God, having for his owne use 
examined the nature of it is able to explaine it 
-after to others. And particularly having doubted 
sometimes whether his repentance were true, or 
at least in that degree it ought to be, since he 
found himselfe sometimes to weepe more for the 
losse of some temporall things then for offend- 
ing God, he came at length to this resolution, 
that repentance is an act of the mind not of the 
Body, even as the Originall signifies ; and that 
the chiefe thing which God in Scriptures requires 
is the heart and the spirit, and to worship him in 
truth and spirit. Wherefore in case a Christian 
endeavour to weep and cannot, since we are not 
Masters of our bodies, this sufficeth. And con- 
sequently he found that the essence of repentance, 
that it may be alike in all God's children (which 



HIS LIBRARY 115 

as concerning weeping it cannot be, some being of 
a more melting temper then others) consisteth in 
a true detestation of the soul, abhorring and re- 
nouncing sin, and turning unto God in truth of 
heart and newnesse of life ; Which acts of re- 
pentance are and must be found in all God's ser- 
vants. Not that weeping is not usefull where it 
can be, that so the body may joyn in the grief as 
it did in the sin; but that, so the other acts be, 
that is not necessary; so that he as truly repents 
who performes the other acts of repentance, when 
he cannot more, as he that weeps a floud of tears. 
This Instruction and comfort the Parson getting 
for himself, when he tels it to others becomes a 
Sermon. The hke he doth in other Christian 
vertues, as of faith and Love, and the Cases of 
Conscience belonging thereto, wherein (as Saint 
Paul implyes that he ought, Romans 2.) hee first 
preacheth to himself e, and then to others. 



Chapter XXXIV 
The Parson^ s Dexterity in applying of Remedies 

THE Countrey Parson knows that there is a 
double state of a Christian even in this Life, 
the one mihtary, the other peaceable. The military 
is when we are assaulted with temptations either 
from within or from without. The Peaceable is 
when the Divell for a time leaves us, as he did our 
Saviour, and the Angels minister to us their owne 
food, even joy and peace and comfort in the holy 
Ghost. These two states were in our Saviour, not 
only in the beginning of his preaching, but after- 
wards also, as Mat. 22. 35, He was tempted; And 
Luke 10. 21, He rejoyced in Spirit; And they 
must be Ukewi^e in all that are his. Now the Par- 
son having a Spirituall Judgement, according as 
he discovers any of his Flock to be in one or the 
other state, so he apphes himselfe to them. Those 
that he findes in the peaceable state, he adviseth 
to be very vigilant and not to let go the raines 
as soon as the horse goes easie. Particularly he 
counselleth them to two things : First, to take 
heed lest their quiet betray them (as it is apt to 
do) to a coldnesse and carelesnesse in their de- 
votions, but to labour still to be as fervent in 



HIS DEXTERITY 117 

Christian Duties as they remember themselves 
were when affliction did blow the Coals. Secondly, 
not to take the full compasse and liberty of their 
Peace : not to eate of all those dishes at table 
which even their present health otherwise admits; 
nor to store their house with all those furnitures 
which even their present plenty of wealth other- 
wise admits ; nor when they are among them that 
are merry, to extend themselves to all that mirth 
which the present occasion of wit and company 
otherwise admits, but to put bounds and hoopes ^ 
to their joyes ; so will they last the longer, and 
when they depart, returne the sooner. If we would 
judg ourselves, we should not be judged; and if 
we would bound our selves, we should not be 
bounded. But if they shall fear that at such or 
such a time their peace and mirth have carryed 
them further then this moderation, then to take 
JoWs admirable Course, who sacrificed lest his 
Children should have transgressed in their mirth. 
So let them go and find some poor afflicted soul, 
and there be bountifull and liberall ; for with 
such sacrifices God is well pleased. Those that the 
Parson finds in the mihtary state, he fortifyes and 
strengthens with his utmost skill. Now in those 
that are tempted, whatsoever is unruly falls upon 
two heads: either they think that there is none 
that can or will look after things, but all goes by 
chance or wit; Or else, though there be a Great 
Governour of all things, yet to them he is lost; as 



118 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

if they said, God doth forsake and persecute them, 
and there is none to deHver them. If the Parson 
suspect the first and find sparkes of such thoughts 
now and then to break forth, then without oppos- 
ing directly (for disputation is no cure for Athe- 
isme) he scatters in his discourse three sorts of 
arguments: the first taken from Nature, the sec- 
ond from the Law, the third from Grace. For 
Nature, he sees not how a house could be either 
built without a builder, or kept in repaire with- 
out a house-keeper. He conceives not possibly how 
the windes should blow so much as they can, and 
the sea rage as much as it can, and all things do 
what they can, and all not only without dissolu- 
tion of the whole, but also of any part, by taking 
away so much as the usuall seasons of summer 
and winter, earing and harvest. Let the weather 
be what it will, still we have bread, though some- 
times more, somtimes lesse; wherewith also a care- 
full Joseph^ might meet. He conceives not possi- 
bly how he that would beleeve a Divinity, if he 
had been at the Creation of all things, should 
less beleeve it seeing the Preservation of all things. 
For preservation is a Creation; and more, it is a 
continued Creation, and a creation every moment. 
Secondly for the Law, there may be so evident 
though unused a proof of Divinity taken from 
thence, that the Atheist or Epicurian can have 
nothing to contradict. The Jewes yet live and are 
known ; they have their Law and Language 



HIS DEXTERITY 119 

bearing witnesse to them, and they to it ; they are 
Circumcised to this day, and expect the promises 
of the Scripture ; their Countrey also is known, the 
places and rivers travelled unto and frequented 
by others, but to them an unpenetrable rock, an 
unaccessible desert. Wherefore if the Jewes live, 
all the great wonders of old live in them, and then 
who can deny the stretched out arme of a mighty 
God? especially since it may be a just doubt 
whether, considering the stubbornnesse of the Na- 
tion, their living then in their Countrey under so 
many miracles were a stranger thing then their 
present exile and disability to live in their Coun- 
trey. And it is observable that this very thing 
was intended by God, that the Jewes should be 
his proof and witnesses, as he calls them, Isaiah 
43. 12. And their very dispersion in all Lands 
was intended not only for a punishment to them, 
but for an exciting of others by their sight to the 
acknowledging of God and his power. Psalm 
59. 11. x\nd therefore this kind of Punishment 
was chosen rather then any other. Thirdly, for 
Grace: Besides the continuall succession (since 
the Gospell) of holy men, who have born witness 
to the truth, (there being no reason why any should 
distrust Saint Lukcy or Tertullian, or Chrysostomey 
more then Tully, Virgill, or Livy,) There are two 
Prophesies in the Gospel which evidently argue 
Christ's Divinity by their success:* the one con- 
cerning the woman that spent the oyntment on 



120 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

our Saviour, for which he told that it should 
never be forgotten, but with the Gospel it selfe be 
preached to all ages, Matth. 26. 13. The other 
concerning the destruction of Jerusalem^ of which 
our Saviour said that that generation should not 
passe till all were fulfilled, Luhe 21. 32. Which 
Josepkus his story confirmeth, and the " eontin^ 
uance of which verdict is yet evident. To these 
might be added the Preaching of the Gospel in all 
Nations, Matthew 24. 14, which we see even mirac- 
ulously effected in these new discoveryes, God 
turning men's Covetousnesse and Ambitions to 
the effecting of his word. Now a prophesie is a 
wonder sent to Posterity, least they complaine of 
want of wonders. It is a letter sealed and sent, 
-which to the bearer is but paper, but to the re- 
ceiver and opener is full of power. Hee that saw 
Christ open a bhnd man's eyes, saw not more 
Divinity then h,e that reads the woman's oyntment 
in the Gospell or sees Jerusalem destroyed. With 
some of these heads enlarged and woven into his 
discourse at severall times and occasions, the 
parson setleth wavering minds. But if he sees 
them neerer desperation then Atheisme, not so 
much doubting a God as that he is theirs, then 
he dives unto the boundlesse Ocean of God's Love 
and the unspeakable riches of his loving kindnesse. 
He hath one argument unanswerable. If God 
hate them, either he doth it as they are Creatures, 
dust and ashes, or as they are sinfuU. As Crea- 



HIS DEXTERITY 121 

tures he must needs love them, for no perfect 
Artist ever yet hated his owne worke. As sinfull, 
he must much more love them; because notwith- 
standing his infinite hate of sinne, his Love over- 
came that hate, and with an exceeding great 
victory which in the Creation needed not, gave 
them love for love, even the son of his love out of 
his bosome of love. So that man, which way soever 
he tumes, hath two pledges of God's Love, that in 
the mouth of two or three witnesses every word 
may be estabUshed : the one in his being, the other 
in his sinfull being ; and this as the more faulty in 
him, so the more glorious in God. And all may 
certainly conclude that God loves them till either 
they despise that Love or despaire of his Mercy. 
Not any sin else but is within his Love; but the 
despising of Love must needs be without it. The 
thrusting away of his arme makes us onely ^ not 
embraced. 



Chapter XXXV 
The Parson's Condescending 

THE Countrey Parson is a Lover of old Cus- 
tomes, if they be good and harmlesse; and 
the rather, because Countrey people are much 
addicted to them, so that to favour them therein 
is to win their hearts, and to oppose them therein is 
to deject them. If there be any ill in the custome 
that may be severed from the good, he pares the 
apple and gives them the clean to feed on. Par- 
ticularly he loves Procession^ and maintains it, 
because there are contained therein 4 manifest 
advantages : First, a blessing of God for the fruits 
of the field; Secondly, justice in the Preservation 
of bounds ; Thirdly, Charity in loving walking 
and neighbourly accompanying one another, with 
reconciHng of differences at that time, if there be 
any; Fourthly, Mercy in releeving the poor by a 
Hberall distribution and largesse, which at that 
time is or ought to be used. Wherefore he exacts 
of all to bee present at the perambulation, and 
those that withdraw and sever themselves from it 
he mishkes,^ and reproves as uncharitable and un- 
neighbourly; and if they will not reforme, presents 
them. Nay, he is so farre from condemning such 



HIS CONDESCENDING 123 

assemblies, that he rather procures them to be 
often, as knowing that absence breedes strange- 
ness, but presence love. Now Love is his business 
and aime ; wherefore he hkes well that his Parish 
at good times invite one another to their houses, 
and he urgeth them to it. And somtimes, where 
he knowes there hath been or is a Httle difference, 
hee takes one of the parties and goes with him to 
the other, and all dine or sup together. There is 
much preaching in this friendhness. Another old 
Custome there is of saying, when Hght is brought 
in, God send us the Hght of heaven. And the 
Parson hkes this very well; neither is he affraid 
of praising or praying to God at all times, but is 
rather glad of catching opportunities to do them. 
Light is a great Blessing and as great as food, 
for which we give thanks; and those that thinke 
this superstitious, neither know superstition nor 
themselves. As for those that are ashamed to use 
this forme, as being old and obsolete and not the 
fashion, he reformes and teaches them, that at 
Baptisme they professed not to be ashamed of 
Christ's Cross, or for any shame to leave that 
which is good. He that is ashamed in small things, 
will extend his pusillanimity to greater. Rather 
should a Christian Souldier take such occasions 
to harden himselfe and to further his exercises 
of Mortification. 



Chapter XXXVI 
The Parson Blessing 

THE Countrey Parson wonders that Blessing 
the people is in so Uttle use with his brethren, 
whereas he thinks it not onely a grave and rever- 
end thing, but a beneficial also. Those who use 
it not do so either out of niceness,^ because they 
Hke the salutations and complements and formes 
of worldly language better; which conformity and 
fashionableness is so exceeding unbefitting a Min- 
ister that it deserves reproof not refutation; Or 
else because they think it empty and superfluous. 
But that which the Apostles used so diHgently in 
their writings, nay, which our Saviour himselfe 
used, Marke 10. 16, cannot be vain and superflu- 
ous. But this was not proper to Christ or the 
Apostles only, no more then to be a spirituall Fa- 
ther was appropriated to them. And if temporall 
Fathers blesse their children, how much more 
may and ought Spirituall Fathers? Besides, the 
Priests of the old Testament were commanded to 
Blesse the people, and the forme thereof is pre- 
scribed. Numb, 6. Now as the Apostle argues in 
another case : if the Ministration of condemnation 
did bless, how shall not the ministration of the 



HIS BLESSING 125 

spirit exceed in blessing ? The fruit of this bless- 
ing good Hannah found, and received with great 
joy, 1 Sam. 1. 18, though it came from a man 
disallowed by God ; for it was not the person, but 
Priesthood, that blessed; so that even ill Priests 
may blesse.^ Neither have the Ministers power of 
Blessing only, but also of cursing. So in the old 
Testament Elisha cursed the children, 2 Kin. 2. 24 ; 
which though our Saviour reproved as unfitting for 
his particular who was to show all humility before 
his Passion, yet he allows in his Apostles. And 
therfore St. Peter used that fearful imprecation to 
Simon Magus ^ Act. 8: Thy money perish with 
thee, and the event confirmed it. So did St. Paul, 
2 Tim. 4. 14. and 1 Tim. 1. 20. Speaking of Alex- 
ander the Coppersmith, who had withstood his 
preaching. The Lord (saith he) reward him accord- 
ing to his works. And again, of Hymeneus and 
Alexander he saith, he had delivered them to Satan, 
that they might learn not to Blaspheme. The formes 
both of Blessing and cursing are expounded in the 
Common-Prayer-book: the one in. The Grace of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. and. The Peace of 
God, &c. The other in generall, in the Commina- 
tion.^ Now blessing differs from prayer in assur- 
ance, because it is not performed by way of request, 
but of confidence and power, effectually applying 
God's favour to the blessed by the interesting of 
that dignity wherewith God hath invested the 
Priest, and ingaging of God's own power and insti- 



126 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

tution for a blessing. The neglect of this duty in 
Ministers themselves hath made the people also 
neglect it; so that they are so far from craving this 
benefit from their ghostly Father that they often- 
times goe out of church before he hath blessed 
them. In the time of Popery the Priest's Benedicite 
and his holy water were over highly valued, and 
now we are fallen to the clean contrary, even from 
superstition to coldnes and Atheism. But the 
Parson first values the gift in himself, and then 
teacheth his parish to value it. And it is observable 
that if a Minister talke with a great man in the 
ordinary course of complementing language, he 
shall be esteemed as ordinary complementers; but 
if he often interpose a Blessing when the other 
gives him just opportunity, by speaking any good, 
this unusuall form begets a reverence and makes 
him esteemed according to his Profession. The 
same is to be observed in writing Letters^ also. To 
conclude, if all men are to blesse upon occasion, 
as appears Rom. 12. 14, how much more those 
who are spiritual Fathers ? 



Chapter XXXVII 
Concerning Detraction 

THE Countrey Parson perceiving that most 
when they are at leasure make others' faults 
their entertainment and discourse, and that even 
some good men think so they speak truth they 
may disclose another's fault, finds it somewhat 
difficult how to proceed in this point. For if he 
absolutely shut up men's mouths and forbid all 
disclosing of faults, many an evill may not only 
be, but also spread in his Parish without any 
remedy (which cannot be applyed without notice) 
to the dishonor of God and the infection of his 
flock, and the discomfort, discredit, and hinder- 
ance of the Pastor. On the other side, if it be 
unlawful to open faults, no benefit or advantage 
can make it lawfull ; for we must not do evill that 
good may come of it. Now the Parson taking this 
point to task, which is so exceeding useful and 
hath taken so deep roote that it seems the very 
life and substance of Conversation, hath proceeded 
thus far in the discussing of it. Faults are either 
notorious or private. Again notorious faults are 
either such as are made known by common fame 
(and of these, those that know them may talk, so 



128 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

they do it not with sport but commiseration;) or 
else such as have passed judgment and been cor- 
rected either by whipping, or imprisoning, or the 
Hke. Of these also men may talk, and more, they 
may discover them to those that know them not; 
because infamy is a part of the sentence against 
malefactours which the Law intends, as is evi- 
dent by those which are branded for rogues, that 
they may be known ; or put into the stocks, 
that they may be looked upon. But some may say, 
though the Law allow this the Gospel doth not, 
which hath so much advanced Charity and ranked 
backbiters among the generation of the wicked, 
Rom. 1. 30. But this is easily answered: As the 
executioner is not uncharitable that takes away 
the life of the condemned, except besides his office 
he add a tincture of private malice in the joy and 
hast of acting his part; so neither is he that de- 
fames him whom the Law would have defamed, 
except he also do it out of rancour. For in infamy 
all are executioners, and the Law gives a male- 
factour to all to be defamed. And as malefactors 
may lose and forfeit their goods or Ufe, so may 
they their good name and the possession thereof, 
which before their offence and Judgment they 
had in all men's brests; for all are honest till 
the contrary be proved. Besides, it concerns the 
Common- Wealth that Rogues should be known 
and Charity to the publick hath the precedence of 
private charity. So that it is so far from being a 



CONCERNING DETRACTION 129 

fault to discover such ofiFenders that it is a duty 
rather, which may do much good and save much 
harme. Neverthelesse, if the punished dehnquent 
shall be much troubled for his sins and turne 
quite another man, doubtlesse then also men's 
affections and words must turne, and forbear to 
speak of that which even God himself hath for- 
gotten. 



THE AUTHOR'S PRAYER BEFORE 
SERMON 

O ALMIGHTY and ever-Uving Lord God! 
Majesty, and Power, and Brightnesse and 
Glory! How shall we dare to appear before thy 
face, who are contrary to thee, in all we call thee ? 
for we are darknesse, and weaknesse, and filthi- 
nesse, and shame. Misery and sin fill our days; 
yet art thou our Creatour, and we thy work. Thy 
hands both made us, and also made us Lords of 
all thy creatures; giving us one world in ourselves, 
and another to serve us ; then didst thou place us 
in Paradise, and wert proceeding still on in thy 
Favours untill we interrupted thy Counsels, dis- 
appointed thy Purposes, and sold our God, our 
glorious, our gracious God, for an apple. O write 
it! O brand it in our foreheads for ever: for an 
apple once we lost our God, and still lose him for 
no more; for money, for meat, for diet: But thou, 
Lord, art patience, and pity, and sweetnesse, and 
love; therefore we sons of men are not consumed. 
Thou hast exalted thy mercy above all things, 
and hast made our salvation, not our punishment, 
thy glory ; so that then where sin abounded, not 
death, but grace superabounded. Accordingly when 



132 PRAYER BEFORE SERMON 

we had sinned beyond any help in heaven or earth, 
then thou saidst, Lo, I come ! Then did the Lord 
of hfe, unable of himselfe to die, contrive to do it. 
He took flesh, he wept, he died; for his enemies 
he died; even for those that derided him then and 
still despise him. Blessed Saviour! many waters 
could not quench thy love, nor no pit overwhelme 
it ! But though the streams of thy blood were cur- 
rant through darknesse, grave, and hell, yet by 
these thy conflicts, and seemingly hazards, didst 
thou arise triumphant, and therein madst us vic- 
torious. 

Neither doth thy love yet stay here! for this 
word of thy rich peace and reconciUation thou 
hast committed, not to Thunder or Angels, but to 
silly and sinful men; even to me, pardoning my 
sins, and bidding me go feed the people of thy 
love. 

Blessed be the God of Heaven and Earth! who 
onely doth wondrous things. Awake, therefore, 
my Lute and my Viol! awake all my powers to 
glorifie thee! We praise thee, we blesse thee, we 
magnifie thee for ever! And now, O Lord, in the 
power of thy Victories, and in the wayes of thy 
Ordinances, and in the truth of thy Love, Lo, we 
stand here, beseeching thee to blesse thy word, 
wherever spoken this day throughout the universall 
Church. O make it a word of power and peace, to 
convert those who are not yet thine and to con- 
firme those that are; particularly blesse it in this 



PRAYER BEFORE SERMON 133 

thy own Kingdom, which thou hast made a Land 
of Hght, a storehouse of thy treasures and mercies. 
O let not our foohsh and unworthy hearts rob us of 
the continuance of this thy sweet love, but pardon 
our sins and perfect what thou hast begun. Ride 
on, Lord, because of the word of truth and meek- 
nesse and righteousnesse, and thy right hand shall 
teach thee terrible things. Especially, blesse this 
portion here assembled together, with thy un- 
worthy Servant speaking unto them. Lord Jesu! 
teach thou me that I may teach them. Sanctifie 
and inable all my powers, that in their full strength 
they may dehver thy message reverently, readily, 
faithfully, and fruitfully! O make thy word a 
swift word, passing from the ear to the heart, from 
the heart to the hfe and conversation ; that as the 
rain returns not empty, so neither may thy word, 
but accompUsh that for which it is given. O Lord, 
hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hearken, and do 
so for thy blessed Son's sake, in whose sweet and 
pleasing words, we say. Our Father, &c. 



PRAYER AFTER SERMON 

BLESSED be God, and the Father of all mercy, 
who continueth to pour his benefits upon us ! 
Thou hast elected us, thou hast called us, thou hast 
justified us, sanctified, and glorified us. Thou wast 
born for us, and thou livedst and diedst for us. 
Thou hast given us the blessings of this life, and of 
a better. O Lord, thy blessings hang in clusters, 
they come trooping upon us ! they break forth like 
mighty waters on every side. And now. Lord, thou 
hast fed us with the bread of Kfe; so man did eat 
Angels' food. O Lord, blesse it ! O Lord, make it 
health and strength unto us, still striving and pros- 
pering so long within us, untill our obedience reach 
thy measure of thy love, who hast done for us as 
much as may be. Grant this, dear Father, for thy 
Son's sake, our only Saviour; To whom with thee 
and the Holy Ghost, three Persons, but one most 
glorious, incomprehensible God, be ascribed all 
Honour, and Glory, and Praise, ever. Amen. 




I'.nnin. Cl.'iw „l V ''■',., I'luito. 



A TREATISE OF TEMPERANCE AND 
SOBRIETY 

WRITTEN BY LUD. CORNARUS 

TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BY MR. GEORGE 
HERBERT 



PREFACE 

HERBERT'S translation of Cornaro first 
appeared in 1634, in a volume entitled 
Hygiasticon, or the right course of preserv- 
ing Life and Health unto extreme old Age; 
together with soundnesse and integritie of 
THE Senses, judgement and memorie. Written 
in Latine by Leonard Lessius, and now Done into 
English. To this volume Crashaw prefixed some 
exquisite Knes on "Temperance, The Cheap 
Physician." The book was made up of three 
pieces, only the first being written by Lessius, a 
Jesuit Professor of Divinity at Louvain, whose 
two other books — De Justitia and De Potestate 
Summi Pontificis — were condemned by the Church. 
The second piece is the present treatise by Cor- 
naro ; and the third an anonymous "Discourse 
Translated out of the ItaHan that a Spare Diet is 
Better than a Splendid and Sumptuous: a Para- 
dox." The first and third pieces are translated by 
a certain "T. S.," who dates his Preface December 
7, 1633. Probably this T. S. is none other than 
Nicholas Ferrar. Oley in his Life of Herbert says 
that Ferrar " helped to put out Lessius ; " and 
John Ferrar in his Life of his brother Nicholas 



138 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

writes: **As Nicholas Ferrar communicated his 
heart to Mr. Herbert, so he made him the peruser, 
and desired the approbation, of what he did in 
those translations of Valdesso and Lessius. To 
the first Mr. Herbert made an epistle, to the 
second he sent to add that of Comarius' temper- 
ance." The copy in the British Museum, dated 
1634, is called the Second Edition. The book has 
been printed many times since, under the title 
The Temperate Man. The title-page of this 
is here reproduced, and from it my text is taken. 
Addison discusses Cornaro's treatise in The Spec- 
tator of October 13, 1711. 

At what time Herbert prepared his translation 
is uncertain; but that it was in the last years of 
his Hfe may perhaps be inferred from the words 
of T. S., who writes: "Master George Herbert 
of blessed memorie, having at the request of a 
Noble Personage translated it into English, sent a 
copy thereof not many months before his death 
unto some friends of his, who a good while before 
had given an attempt of regulating themselves in 
matter of Diet." Who this " noble personage " was, 
or who the friends, is unknown. 

The author of the treatise, Luigi Cornaro (1467- 
1566), was a Venetian nobleman, a member of 
the family which gave several Doges to Venice 
and a Queen to Cyprus. His portrait by Tinto- 
retto is in the Pitti Gallery at Florence, and his pal- 
ace still stands in Padua. After thirty-five years 



OF TEMPERANCE 139 

of gay and careless Kving, he found his health so 
shattered that death seemed at hand. He cured 
himself by a great reduction in the amount of his 
food, and by a spare diet was enabled to reach an 
extreme age of great bodily and intellectual vigor. 
His system of dieting he explained and advocated 
in four Discourses, the first written at the age of 
eighty-three, the second at eighty-six, the third at 
ninety-one, the fourth at ninety-five. These were 
gathered together in 1568 and published at Padua 
under the general title Discorsi della Vita Sobria. 
The first of them Herbert translates. 

His aim is practical, not Kterary. He wishes to 
render Comaro's ideas available for EngHsh use, 
and freely adapts them to this end. T. S. says: 
"Master Herbert professeth, and so it is indeed 
apparent, that he was enforced to leave out some- 
thing out of Comarus ; but it was not anything 
appertaining to the main subject of the book, but 
chiefly certain extravagant excursions of the Au- 
thour against the Reformation of Religion which 
in his time was newly begun." This statement 
is unjust to both Comaro and Herbert. There 
is not a word in Cornaro's treatise adverse or 
favorable to the reformation of rehgion, though 
Herbert's translation contains only about half 
the amount of the original. He omits sentences, 
paragraphs, pages. He recasts what he keeps. 
But the result is altogether faithful to Cornaro's 
thought, a much more readable and effective plea 



140 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

for the dietary than any Kteral translation could 
have been. The lucid and uninvolved style em- 
ployed suggests that Herbert's work was done 
about the time of that on The Country Parson. 
Whether the translation was written during 
Herbert's closing years at Bemerton or earher, it 
represents a lifelong interest. At the University, 
in 1617, he writes his stepfather about experi- 
ments on himself in the matter of diet. The 
Church-Porch bids Look to thy mouth, diseases 
enter there, and Slight those who say amidst their 
sickly healths. Thou liv^st by rule. Lent is prized 
for 

The deannesse of sweet abstinence. 

Quick thoughts and motions at a small expense, 

A face not fearing light; 
Whereas in fulnesse there are sluttish fumes, 
Sowre exhalations, and dishonest rheumes. 

Revenging the delight. 

The Country Parson by fasting keeps his body 
tame, serviceable and healthfull, and his soul fer- 
vent, active, young and lusty as an eagle. That 
book declares that one thing is evident that an 
English body and a student's body are two great 
obstructed vessels; and half of its twenty-sixth 
chapter is devoted to rules for determining the 
quantity of food to be eaten. Walton reports that 
during the Crisis time when Herbert "was seiz'd 
with a sharp Quotidian Ague he became his own 



OF TEMPERANCE 141 

Physitian and cur'd himself of his Ague by for- 
bearing Drink, and not eating any Meat, no 
not Mutton nor a Hen or Pidgeon, unless they 
were salted. And by such a constant Dyet he re- 
movd his Ague, but with inconveniencies that 
were worse ; for he brought upon himself a dispo- 
sition to Rheumes and other weaknesses and a 
supposed Consumption." Herbert's free trans- 
lation of Cornaro's treatise, then, and his desire 
to bring its precepts into general use, were no ac- 
cidents. The "request of a noble personage" 
merely proved the happy occasion for setting 
forth under another's name doctrines about food 
to which he had been devoted throughout his hfe. 



THE 

TEMPFRATE MAN, 

O R T H E 

Right Way of Prefer ving 
LIFE and HEALTH, 

TOGETHER, 

With Soundnefs of the Senfes, Judg- 
ment, and Memory unto extream 
OLD AGE. 

In Three Treatifts. 



The Fir ft wriucn by the LcM-ped Leorurdm 
Lcjjita. " 

TheSccoi)4 by Lodoiffjcfi C$Tn4ro , a N.b-Ic 
Gcniieman of Vcnks, 

The Third by a Fanious ItAlUn. 

Faithfully Englifhed. 



LONDON:, 

Printed by J, R. for fohn Starkej, at 

the Miter m Fleetftrect^ near Tifnpla 

Bar, 1678. 



A TREATISE OF TEMPERANCE AND 
SOBRIETY 

HAVING observed in my time many of my 
friends of excellent wit and noble disposi- 
tion overthrown and undone by Intemperance 
who, if they had lived, would have been an orna- 
ment to the world and a comfort to their friends, 
I thought fit to discover in a short Treatise that 
Intemperance was not such an evil but it might 
easily be remedied ; which I undertake the more 
wilHngly, because divers worthy young men have 
obhged me unto it. For when they saw their par- 
ents and kindred snatcht away in the midst of 
their days, and me contrariwise, at the age of 
Eighty and one, strong and lusty, they had a great 
desire to know the way of my life, and how I came 
to be so. Wherefore, that I may satisfy their honest 
desire, and withal help many others who will take 
this into consideration, I will declare the causes 
which moved me to forsake Intemperance and 
live a sober Hfe, expressing also the means which 
I have used therein. I say therefore that the in- 
firmities, which did not only begin, but had already 
gone far in me, first caused me to leave Intemper- 
ance, to which I was much addicted. For by it 



144 COENARO'S TREATISE 

and my ill constitution (having a most cold and 
moist stomach), I fell into divers diseases, to wit, 
into the pain of the stomach, and often of the side, 
and the beginning of the Gout, with almost a 
continual fever and thirst. 

From this ill temper there remained Httle else 
to be expected of me than that after many trou- 
bles and griefs I should quickly come to an end; 
whereas my Kfe seemed as far from it by Nature, 
as it was near it by Intemperance. When therefore 
I was thus afflicted from the Thirty-fifth year of 
my age to the Fortieth, having tried all remedies 
fruitlessly, the Physicians told me that yet there was 
one help for me if I could constantly pursue it, 
to wit, A sober and orderly life ; for this had every 
way great force for the recovering and preserving 
of Health, as a disorderly life to the overthrowing 
of it, as I too well by experience found. For 
Temperance preserves even old men and sickly 
men sound, but Intemperance destroys most 
healthy and flourishing constitutions. For con- 
trary causes have contrary effects, and the faults 
of Nature are often amended by Art, as barren 
grounds are made fruitful by good husbandry. 
They added withal that unless I speedily used 
that remedy, within a few months I should be 
driven to that exigent that there would be no help 
for me but Death, shortly to be expected. 

Upon this, weighing their reasons with myself, 
and abhorring from so sudden an end, and finding 



OF TEMPERANCE 145 

myself continually oppressed with pain and sick- 
ness, I grew fully perswaded that all my griefs 
arose out of Intemperance; and therefore out of a 
hope of avoiding death and pain I resolved to live 
a temperate life. 

Whereupon, being directed by them in the way 
I ought to hold, I understood that the food I was 
to use was such as belonged to sickly constitu- 
tions, and that in a small quantity. This they had 
told me before. But I, then not hking that kind 
of Diet, followed my Appetite and did eat meats 
pleasing to my taste ; and when I felt inward heats, 
drank deHghtful wines, and that in great quantity, 
telling my Physicians nothing thereof, as is the 
custom of sick people. But after I had resolved to 
follow Temperance and Reason, and saw that it 
was no hard thing to do so, but the proper duty of 
man, I so addicted myself to this course of life 
that I never went a foot out of the way. Upon this, 
I found within a few days that I was exceedingly 
helped, and by continuance thereof within less 
than one year (although it may seem to some in- 
credible), I was perfectly cured of all my infirmi- 
ties. 

Being now sound and well, I began to consider 
the force of Temperance, and to think thus with 
myself: If Temperance had so much power as to 
bring me health, how much more to preserve it! 
Wherefore I began to search out most diligently 
what meats were agreeable unto me, and what 



146 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

disagreeable. And I purposed to try whether those 
that pleased my taste brought me commodity or 
discommodity, and whether that Proverb, where- 
with Gluttons use to defend themselves, to wit. 
That which favours is good and nourishethy be 
consonant to truth. This upon trial I found most 
false: for strong and very cool wines pleased my 
taste best, as also melons, and other fruit; in like 
manner, raw lettice, fish, pork, sausages, pulse, 
and cake and py-crust and the like ; and yet all 
these I found hurtful. 

Therefore trusting on experience, I forsook all 
these kind of meats and drinks, and chose that wine 
that fitted my stomach, and in such measure as 
easily might be digested ; above all, taking care 
never to rise with a full stomach, but so as I might 
well both eat and drink more. By this means, 
within less than a year I was not only freed from all 
those evils which had so long beset me, and were 
almost become incurable, but also afterwards I 
fell not into that yearly disease, whereinto I was 
wont, when I pleased my Sense and Appetite. 
Which benefits also still continue, because from the 
time that I was made whole I never since departed 
from my setled course of Sobriety, whose admira- 
ble power causeth that the meat and drink that is 
taken in fit measure gives true strength to the body, 
all superfluities passing away without difficulty, 
and no ill humours being engendred in the body. 

Yet with this diet I avoided other hurtful things 



OF TEIVIPERANCE 147 

also, as too much heat and cold, weariness, watch- 
ing, ill air, overmuch use of the benefit of marriage. 
For although the power of health consists most in 
the proportion of meat and drink, yet these fore- 
named things have also their force. I preserved me 
also, as much as I could, from hatred and melan- 
choly and other perturbations of the mind, which 
have a great power over our constitutions. Yet 
could I not so avoid all these but that now and 
then I fell into them, which gained me this experi- 
ence, that I perceived that they had no great power 
to hurt those bodies which were kept in good order 
by a moderate Diet. So that I can truly say. That 
they who in these two things that enter in at the 
mouth keep a fit proportion, shall receive Uttle hurt 
from other excesses. 

This Galen confirms, when he says that immod- 
erate heats and colds and winds and labours did 
little hurt him, because in his meats and drinks 
he kept a due moderation and therefore never was 
sick by any of these inconveniences, except it were 
for one only day. But mine own experience con- 
firmeth this more, as all that know me can testify. 
For having endured many heats and colds, and 
other like discommodities of the body and troubles 
of the mind, all these did hurt me little, whereas 
they hurt them very much who five intemperately. 
For when my brother and others of my kindred saw 
some great powerful men pick quarrels against me, 
fearing lest I should be overthrown, they were pos- 



148 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

sessed with a deep Melancholy (a thing usual to 
disorderly lives), which increased so much in them 
that it brought them to a sudden end. But I, whom 
that matter ought to have affected most, received 
no inconvenience thereby, because that humour 
abounded not in me. 

Nay, I began to pers wade myself that this suit and 
contention was raised by the Divine Providence, 
that I might know what great power a sober and 
temperate life hath over our bodies and minds, and 
that at length I should be a conqueror, as also a 
little after it came to pass. For in the end I got the 
victory, to my great honour and no less profit, 
whereupon also I joyed exceedingly; which excess 
of joy neither could do me any hurt. By which it is 
manifest. That neither melancholy nor any other 
passion can hurt a temperate hfe. 

Moreover, I say, that even bruises and squats 
and falls, which often kill others, can bring little 
grief or hurt to those that are temperate. This I 
found by experience when I was Seventy years old; 
for riding in a Coach in great haste, it happened 
that the Coach was overturned and then was 
dragged for a good space by the fury of the horses, 
whereby my head and whole body was sore hurt 
and also one of my arms and legs put out of joynt. 
Being carried home, when the Physicians saw in 
what case I was, they concluded that I would die 
within Three days; nevertheless, at a venture. Two 
Remedies niight be used, letting of blood and 



OF TEMPERANCE 149 

purging, that the store of humours and inflamma- 
tion and fever (which was certainly expected) 
might be hindred. 

But I, considering what an orderly Ufe I had led 
for many years together, which must needs so tem- 
per the humours of the body that they could not 
be much troubled or make a great concourse, 
refused both remedies, and only commanded that 
my arm and leg should be set and my whole body 
anointed with oyl ; and so without other remedy 
or inconvenience I recovered, which seemed as a 
miracle to the Physicians. Whence I conclude that 
they that Uve a temperate hfe can receive Uttle hurt 
from other inconveniences. 

But my experience taught me another thing also, 
to wit, that an orderly and regular life can hardly 
be altered without exceeding great danger. 

About Four years since, I was led, by the advice 
of Physicians and the daily importunity of my 
friends, to add something to my usual stint and 
measure. Divers reasons they brought, as, that old 
age could not be sustained with so Uttle meat and 
drink, which yet needs not only to be sustained 
but also to gather strength, which could not be but 
by meat and drink. On the other side, I argued 
that Nature was contented with a Httle, and that I 
had for many years continued in good health with 
that httle measure; that Custom was turned into 
Nature, and therefore it was agreeable to reason 
that my years increasing and strength decreasing, 



150 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

my stint of meat and drink should be diminished 
rather than increased, that the patient might be 
proportionable to the agent, and especially since 
the power of my stomach every day decreased. To 
this agreed two ItaUan Proverbs, the one whereof 
was, * He that will eat much, let him eat little ; 
because by eating little he prolongs his Ufe. The 
other Proverb was, f The meat which remaineth 
profits more than that which is eaten; by which is 
intimated that the hurt of too much meat is greater 
than the commodity of meat taken in a moderate 
proportion. 

But all these things could not defend me against 
their importunities. Therefore to avoid obstinacy 
and gratify my friends, at length I yielded and 
permitted the quantity of meat to be increased, 
yet but Two ounces only. For whereas before, the 
measure of my whole day's meat, viz. of my bread, 
and eggs, and flesh, and broth, was 12 ounces 
exactly weighed, I increased it to the quantity of 
2 ounces more ; and the measure of my drink, 
which before was 14 ounces, I made now 16. 

This addition, after ten days, wrought so much 
upon me that of a chearful and merry man I be- 
came melancholy and cholerick; so that all things 

* Mangierh piu chi manco mangia. Ed e' contrario, Chi 
piu mangiay manco mangia. II senso e Poco vive chi troppo 
sparecchia. 

f Fa piu pro queV che si lascia suC tondo, che queV che si 
mette nel ventre. 



OF TEMPERANCE 151 

were troublesome to me, neither did I know well 
what I did or said. On the Twelfth day, a pain of 
the side took me, which held me Two and twenty 
hours. Upon the neck of it came a terrible fever, 
which continued Thirty-five days and nights, 
although after the Fifteenth day it grew less and 
less. Besides all this I could not sleep, no, not a 
quarter of an hour, whereupon all gave me up for 
dead. 

Nevertheless I, by the grace of God, cured 
myself only with returning to my former course of 
Diet, although I was now Seventy-eight years old, 
and my body spent with extream leanness, and the 
season of the year was winter, and most cold air. 
And I am confident that, under God, nothing holp 
me but that exact rule which I had so long con- 
tinued. In all which time I felt no grief, save now 
and then a little indisposition for a day or Two. 

For the Temperance of so many years spent all 
ill humours, and suffered not any new of that kind 
to arise, neither the good humours to be corrupted 
or contract any ill quality, as usually happens in old 
men's bodies which live without rule. For there is 
no malignity of old age in the humours of my body, 
which commonly kills men ; and that new one 
which I contracted by breaking my diet, although 
it was a sore evil, yet had no power to kill me. 

By this it may clearly be perceived how great is 
the power of order and disorder; whereof the one 
kept me well for many years, the other, though it 



152 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

was but a little excess, in a few days had so soon 
overthrown me. If the world consist of order, if our 
corporal Ufe depend on the harmony of humours 
and elements, it is no wonder that order should 
preserve and disorder destroy. Order makes arts 
easie and armies victorious, and retains and con- 
firms kingdoms, cities, and famihes in peace. 
Whence I conclude that an orderly Ufe is the 
most sure way and ground of health and long days, 
and the true and only medicine of many diseases. 
Neither can any man deny this who will nar- 
rowly consider it. Hence it comes that a Physician, 
when he cometh to visit his Patient, prescribes this 
Physick first, that he use a moderate diet; and 
when he hath cured him commends this also to him, 
if he will live in health. Neither is it to be doubted, 
but that he shall ever after live free from diseases, 
if he will keep such a course of Kfe; because this 
will cut off all causes of diseases, so that he shall 
need neither Physick nor Physician. Yea, if he will 
give his mind to those things which he should, he 
will prove himself a Physician, and that a very 
compleat one; for indeed no man can be a perfect 
Physician to another, but to himself only. The 
reason whereof is this : Every one by long experi- 
ence may know the quaUties of his own nature, and 
what hidden properties it hath, what meat and 
drink agrees best with it ; which things in others 
cannot be known without such observation as is 
not easily to be made upon others, especially since 



OF TEMPERANCE 153 

there is a greater diversity of tempers than of faces. 
Who would believe that old wine should hurt my 
stomach, and new should help it, or that cinnamon 
should heat me more than pepper ? What Physi- 
cian could have discovered these hidden quaUties 
to me, if I had not found them out by long expe- 
rience? Wherefore one to another cannot be a 
perfect Physician. Whereupon I conclude, since 
none can have a better Physician than himself, 
nor better Physick than a Temperate Life, Tem- 
perance by all means is to be embraced. 

Nevertheless, I deny not but that Physicians are 
necessary, and greatly to be esteemed for the 
knowing and curing of diseases, into which they 
often fall who Hve disorderly. For if a friend who 
visits thee in thy sickness, and only comforts and 
condoles, doth perform an acceptable thing to 
thee, how much more dearly should a Physician be 
esteemed, who not only as a friend doth visit thee, 
but help thee! 

But that a man may preserve himself in health, I 
advise that instead of a Physician a regular Hfe is 
to be embraced, which, as is manifest by experi- 
ence, is a natural Physick most agreeable to us, 
and also doth preserve even ill tempers in good 
health, and procure that they prolong their life 
even to a hundred years and more, and that at 
length they shut up their days like a Lamp, only 
by a pure consumption of the radical moisture, 
without grief or perturbation of humours. Many 



154 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

have thought that this could be done by Aurum 
potahile, or the Philosopher' s-stone, sought of many, 
and found of few; but surely there is no such mat- 
ter, if Temperance be wanting. 

But sensual men (as most are), desiring to satisfie 
their Appetite and pamper their belly, although 
they see themselves ill handled by their intemper- 
ance, yet shun a sober Ufe; because, they say. It is 
better to please the Appetite (though they Uve Ten 
years less than otherwise they should do) than 
always to Uve under bit and bridle. But they con- 
sider not of how great moment ten years are in 
mature age, wherein wisdom and all kind of virtues 
is most vigorous, which but in that age can hardly 
be perfected. And that I may say nothing of other 
things, are not almost all the learned books that 
we have, written by their Authors in that age and 
those Ten years which they set at nought in regard 
of their belly ? 

Besides, these Belly-gods say that an orderly 
Ufe is so hard a thing that it cannot be kept. To 
this I answer that Galen kept it and held it for the 
best Physick; so did Plato also, and Isocrates, and 
Tully, and many others of the Ancients; and in 
our age, Paul the Third, and Cardinal Bemho, who 
therefore Uved so long ; and among our Dukes, 
Laudus and Donatus, and many others of inferior 
condition, not only in the city, but also in villages 
and hamlets. 

Wherefore, since many have observed a regular 



OF TEMPERANCE 155 

life both of old times and later years, it is no such 
thing which may not be performed ; especially 
since in observing it there needs not many and 
curious things, but only that a man should begin, 
and by Httle and Httle accustom himself unto it. 

Neither doth it hinder that Plato says, That they 
who are employed in the common-wealth cannot 
live regularly, because they must often endure 
heats, and colds, and winds, and showers, and 
divers labours, which suit not with an orderly Hfe. 
For I answer. That those inconveniences are of 
no great moment (as I showed before) if a man be 
temperate in meat and drink; which is both easy 
for common-weal's-men and very convenient, both 
that they may preserve themselves from diseases 
which hinder pubUck imployment, as also that 
their mind in all things wherein they deal may be 
more Hvely and vigorous. 

But some may say. He which lives a regular Hfe, 
eating always Hght meats and in a Httle quantity, 
what diet shall he use in diseases, which being in 
health he hath anticipated ? I answer first. Nature, 
which endeavours to preserve a man as much as 
she can, teacheth us how to govern ourselves in 
sickness. For suddenly it takes away our appetite, 
so that we can eat but a very Httle, wherewith she 
is very well contented; so that a sick man, whether 
he hath Hved heretofore orderly or disorderly, 
when he is sick ought not to eat but such meats 
as are agreeable to his disease, and that in much 



156 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

smaller quantity than when he was well. For if he 
should keep his former proportion, Nature, which 
is already burdened with a disease, would be 
wholly oppressed. Secondly, I answer better, that 
he which Kves a temperate Ufe cannot fall into 
diseases, and but very seldom into indispositions, 
because Temperance takes away the causes of 
diseases ; and the cause being taken away, there 
is no place for the effect. 

Wherefore since an orderly Ufe is so profitable, 
so vertuous, so decent, and so holy, it is worthy 
by all means to be embraced, especially since it is 
easy and most agreeable to the Nature of Man. No 
man that follows it is bound to eat and drink so 
little as I. No man is forbidden to eat fruit or fish, 
which I eat not. For I eat Httle because a Uttle 
suflSceth my weak stomach; and I abstain from 
fruit and fish and the Uke, because they hurt me. 
But they who find benefit in these meats may, yea 
ought to use them. Yet all must needs take heed 
lest they take a greater quantity of any meat or 
drink (though most agreeable to them) then their 
stomach can easily digest ; So that he which is 
offended with no kind of meat and drink, hath the 
quantity and not the quality for his rule, which is 
very easy to be observed. 

Let no man here object unto me. That there are 
many, who though they five disorderly, yet con- 
tinue in health to their lives' end: Because since 
this is at the best but uncertain, dangerous, and 



OF TEMPERANCE 157 

very rare, the presuming upon it ought not to lead 
us to a disorderly life. 

It is not the part of a wise man to expose himself 
to so many dangers of diseases and death only 
upon a hope of a happy issue, which yet befalls 
very few. An old man of an ill constitution, but 
living orderly, is more sure of Hfe than the most 
strong young man who Hves disorderly. 

But some, too much given to Appetite, object, 
That a long Hfe is no such desirable thing, because 
that after one is once Sixty-five years old, all the 
time we Hve after is rather death than hfe. But 
these err greatly, as I will show by myself, recount- 
ing the dehghts and pleasures in this age of 83 
which now I take, and which are such as that men 
generally account me happy. 

I am continually in health, and I am so nimble 
that I can easily get on horseback without the ad- 
vantage of the ground, and sometimes I go up high 
stairs and hills on foot. Then I am ever cheerful, 
merry, and well-contented, free from all troubles 
and troublesome thoughts ; in whose place joy and 
peace have taken up their standing in my heart. 
I am not weary of Ufe, which I pass with great 
dehght. I confer often with worthy men, excel- 
ling in wit, learning, behaviour, and other vertues. 
When I cannot have their company, I give myself 
to the reading of some learned book, and afterw^ards 
to writing; making it my aim in all things how I 
may help others to the furthest of my power. 



158 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

All these things I do at my ease, and at fit sea- 
sons, and in mine own houses ; which, besides 
that they are in the fairest place of this learned 
City of Padua, are very beautiful and convenient 
above most in this age, being so built by me ac- 
cording to the rules of Architecture, that they are 
cool in summer and warm in winter. 

I enjoy also my gardens, and those divers, parted 
with rills of running water, which truly is very 
delightful. Some times of the year I enjoy the 
pleasure of the Euganean hills, where also I have 
fountains and gardens and a very convenient 
house. At other times, I repair to a village of mine 
seated in the valley; which is therefore very plea- 
sant, because many ways thither are so ordered 
that they all meet and end in a fair plot of ground ; 
in the midst whereof is a Church suitable to the 
condition of the place. This place is washed with 
the river of Brenta, on both sides whereof are great 
and fruitful fields, well manured and adorned with 
many habitations. In former time it was not so, 
because the place was moorish and unhealthy, fitter 
for beasts than men. But I drained the ground, 
and made the air good. Whereupon men flocked 
thither and built houses, with happy success. By 
this means the place is come to that perfection 
we now see it is. So that I can truly say. That I 
have both given God a Temple and men to wor- 
ship him in it. The memory whereof is exceeding 
delightful to me. 



OF TEMPERANCE 159 

Sometimes I ride to some of the neighbour cities, 
that I may enjoy the sight and communication of 
my friends, as also of excellent Artificers in Archi- 
tecture, 'painting, stone-cutting, musick, and hus- 
bandry, whereof in this age there is great plenty. 
I view their pieces, I compare them with those of 
Antiquity, and ever I learn somewhat which is 
worthy of my knowledge. I survey palaces, gar- 
dens, antiquities, puhlick fabrics, temples, and forti- 
fications ; neither omit I any thing that may either 
teach or deHght me. I am much pleased also in 
my travels with the beauty of situation. Neither 
is this my pleasure made less by the decaying dul- 
ness of my senses, which are all in their perfect 
vigour, but especially my Taste; so that any sim- 
ple fare is more savoury to me now than heretofore, 
when I was given to disorder and all the delights 
that could be. 

To change my bed, troubles me not. I sleep 
well and quietly any where, and my dreams are 
fair and pleasant. But this chiefly delights me, that 
my advice hath taken effect in the reducing of 
many rude and untoiled places in my country to 
cultivation and good husbandry. I was one of 
those that was deputed for the managing of that 
work, and abode in those fenny places two whole 
months in the heat of summer, (which in Italy is 
very great,) receiving not any hurt or inconvenience 
thereby : So great is the power and eflficacy of that 
Temperance which ever accompanied me. 



160 CORNARO'S TREATISE 

These are the delights and solaces of my old 
age, which is altogether to be preferred before 
others' youth: Because that by Temperance and 
the Grace of God I feel not those perturbations of 
body and mind wherewith infinite both young and 
old are afficted. 

Moreover by this also in what estate I am may 
be discovered, because at these years (viz. 83) I 
have made a most pleasant Comedy, full of honest 
wit and merriment ; which kind of Poems useth to 
be the child of Youth, which it most suits withal 
for variety and pleasantness, as a Tragedy with old 
Age, by reason of the sad events which it con- 
tains. And if a Greek Poet of old was praised that 
at the age of 73 years he writ a Tragedy, why 
should I be accounted less happy, or less myself, 
who being Ten years older have made a Comedy ? 

Now lest there should be any dehght wanting 
to my old age, I daily behold a kind of immortaHty 
in the succession of my posterity. For when I 
come home, I find eleven grand-children of mine, 
all the sons of one father and mother, all in perfect 
health ; all as far as I can conjecture, very apt 
and well given both for learning and behaviour. 
I am dehghted with their music and fashion, and 
I myself also sing often; because I have now a 
clearer voice than ever I had in my life. 

By which it is evident that the Hfe which I live 
at this age is not a dead, dumpish, and sower hfe, 
but chearful, lively, and pleasant. Neither if I 



OF TEMPERANCE 161 

had my wish, would I change age and constitution 
with them who follow their youthful appetites, 
although they be of a most strong temper; be- 
cause such are daily exposed to a thousand dangers 
and deaths, as daily experience showeth, and I 
also, when I was a young man, too well found. 1 
know how inconsiderate that age is and, though 
subject to death, yet continually afraid of it. Foi 
death to all young men is a terrible thing, as also 
to those that Hve in sin, and follow their appetites ; 
whereas I by the experience of so many years have 
learned to give way to Reason; whence it seems 
to me not only a shameful thing to fear that which 
cannot be avoided, but also I hope, when I shall 
come to that point, I shall find no httle comfort 
in the favour of Jesus Christ. Yet I am sure that 
my end is far from me: for I know that (setting 
casualties aside) I shall not die but by a pure reso- 
lution, because that by the regularity of my life I 
have shut out death all other ways. And that is 
a fair and desirable death which Nature brings by 
way of resolution. 

Since, therefore, a Temperate Ufe is so happy 
and pleasant a thing, what remains but that I 
should wish all who have the care of themselves 
to embrace it with open arms ? 

Many things more might be said in commenda- 
tion hereof ; but lest in any thing I forsake that 
Temperance which I have found so good, I here 
make an End. 



PREFATORY LETTER AND NOTES 

BY GEORGE HERBERT 

To THE Divine Considerations, Treating of 

THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE MOST PROFITABLE, 

MOST Necessary and most Perfect in our 
Christian Profession, by John Valdesso 



PREFACE 

THE author of the One Hundred and Ten 
Considerations was the Spanish reformer, 
Juan de Valdes (1500-1541), a contemporary of 
Luther and a predecessor of MoUnos. As a young 
man, in a book entitled Dialogo de Mercurio y 
Caron, he attacked the corruption of the Romish 
Church. In consequence of hostihties thus excited, 
he left Spain in 1530, and, after a year or two in 
Rome, settled in Naples, where in 1533 he wrote 
a philological treatise, Dialogo de la Lengua. But 
his interest was in reHgion. He gathered about him 
a notable group of men and women, — his brother 
Alphonso, Peter Martyr, Ochino, Carnesecchi, 
Vittoria Colonna, GiuHa Gonzaga, — all eager for 
the reform of the Church and for the Lutheran doc- 
trine of justification by faith, though disapproving 
Luther's schism. Valdes' most important rehgious 
writings are Latte Spirituale, Trataditos, Ciento i 
Diez Concideraciones, and El Evangeho de San 
Mateo. Recently these have been translated into 
English by B. B. WifTen and J. T. Betts. 

Alphonso, the twin brother of Juan de Valdes, 
was for a time in the service of the Emperor 
Charles V. Walton, failing to distinguish the 



166 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

brothers, relates anecdotes of Juan which are now 
known to be without foundation. 

Herbert's notes on Valdesso, as he was called 
in Italy, form his single contribution to theology. 
A passage in The Country Parson is the only 
other evidence that he was not altogether lacking 
in theological interest: The Countrey Parson hath 
read the Fathers also, and the Schoolmen, and the 
later Writers, or a good proportion of all, out of all 
which he hath compiled a hook and body of Divinity, 
which is the storehouse of his Sermons and which he 
preacheth all his Life, hut diversly clothed, illus- 
trated, and inlarged. For though the world is full 
of such composures, yet every man's own is fittest, 
readyest, and most savory to him. This Body he 
made hy way of expounding the Church Catechisme, 
to which all divinity may easily he reduced (Ch. V). 
Herbert's other utterances make him appear either 
indifferent to theological ideas, or, as in his poem 
of DiviNiTiE and in lesser degree elsewhere, posi- 
tively scornful. He usually approaches rehgion, 
as my second Introductory Essay explains, on its 
practical side. In these notes, however, though the 
doctrines discussed have important practical issues, 
Herbert is primarily concerned with the relation 
to one another of certain contrasted beKefs. Some 
of them he regards with favor, others he con- 
demns. 

Valdesso's book is judged valuable for its accept- 
ance of Christ's redemption, for the love of Christ 



OF VALDESSO 167 

shown by its author, and for its insistence on per- 
sonal rather than on corporate religion. But Her- 
bert's disagreement is deep and fundamental. He 
beheves Valdesso to be a mystic, as indeed he was, 
disinclined to any other standard of truth and 
right than his own subjective feehngs. (1) He sets 
up 'private enthusiasmes and revelations ; (2) he 
opposeth the teaching of the Spirit to the teaching 
of Scripture ; (3) he saith we shall not he punished 
for evill doing, nor rewarded for wel doing or living, 
for all the point lies in believing or not believing. 

With these three related beliefs Herbert takes 
issue. As regards the first, he observes that in indif- 
ferent things there is roome for motions, and expect- 
ing of them ; hut in things good, as to relieve my 
neighbour, God hath already revealed His will about 
it. Restraining motions are m^uch more frequent to 
the godly then inviting motions. But to yield to 
such inner promptings, and so to remove the godly 
from all jurisdiction, — this cannot stand, and it is 
ill doctrine in a common-wealth. Against it and 
the second error he urges that those that have in- 
spirations must still use Peter, God's Word. 

Valdesso, in Herbert's judgment, discovers too 
slight a regard of the Scriptures, as if it were hut 
children's meat. He seems to imagine that through 
spiritual growth we get beyond the Bible, gradu- 
ally find it unnecessary, and become sufficient for 
ourselves. In reahty the Scriptures have not only 
an elementary use, hut a use of perfection ; neither 



168 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

can they ever be exhausted. It is they which must 
steady the beUever and keep him sane. 

For there is a fixed right which even the Saints 
must not contravene. To pretend that they are 
exempt from laws with God is dangerous and too 
farre. Even Abraham, had he killed his sonne 
Isaac, might have been justly put to death for it by 
the magistrate, unlesse he could have made it ap- 
peare that it was done by God's immediate precept. 

Brief and fragmentary as are the arguments 
here used, perhaps also restrained through defer- 
ence to his friend, Herbert's point of view is clear 
and distinct. From it he attacks mysticism in its 
central position, viz. its assertion that the ground 
of authority Kes in the individual's own feeUngs, 
and that no standards erected by past experience 
or by the present needs of society can discredit that 
inner prompting. 

Fortunately we know precisely when these notes 
were written. In the first edition the accompanying 
letter to Ferrar is dated September 29. But in the 
second edition the year is added, 1632. Just five 
months, then, before his death Herbert prepared 
these thoughtful notes on a weighty book. They 
show how stringently he pressed his Hterary work 
during the faihng years at Bemerton. / forbare not 
in the midst of my grief es, he proudly says. But the 
Considerations which these notes sought to quaKfy, 
the only volume which ever came from Ferrar's 
pen, remained unprinted for six years. Perhaps 



OF VALDESSO 169 

Herbert's criticisms made his friend hesitate. At 
any rate, the book did not appear till 1638, when 
Ferrar had been dead two years, and then the qual- 
ifying notes accompanied it. To the second edi- 
tion of 1646 explanations were added, seeking 
to lessen the force of Herbert's objections. Com- 
monplace though these are, I follow Dr. Grosart 
in printing them as addenda, inclosing them in 
brackets. 



NOTES ON THE DIVINE CONSIDERA- 
TIONS OF VALDESSO 

Mb. G. Herbert to Master N. F. upon his 
Translation of Valdesso 

MY deare and deserving Brother, your Val- 
desso I now returne with many thanks and 
some notes, in which perhaps you will discover 
some care, which I forbare not in the midst of my 
grief es : First, for your sake, because I would doe 
nothing neghgently that you commit unto mee"; 
Secondly, for the author's sake, whom I conceive 
to have been a true servant of God, and to such 
and all that is theirs I owe diligence; Thirdly, for 
the Church's sake, to whom by printing it I would 
have you consecrate it. You owe the Church a 
debt, and God hath put this into your hands (as 
He sent the fish with mony to S. Peter) to dis- 
charge it; happily also with this (as His thoughts 
are fruitful), intending the honour of His servant 
the author, who being obscured in his own coun- 
try. He would have to flourish in this land of light 
and region of the Gospell among His chosen. It 
is true there are some things which I hke not in 
him, as my fragments will expresse when you read 
them. Neverthelesse I wish you by all meanes to 



172 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

publish it, for these three eminent things observ- 
able therein : First, that God in the midst of Pop- 
ery should open the eyes of one to understand and 
expresse so clearely and excellently the intent of the 
Gospell in the acceptation of Christ's righteous- 
nesse (as he sheweth through all his Considera- 
tions), a thing strangely buried and darkned by 
the adversaries, and their great stumbling-block. 
Secondly, the great honour and reverence, which 
he everywhere beares towards our deare Master 
and Lord, concluding every Consideration almost 
with His holy Name, and setting His merit forth 
so piously; for which I doe so love him that were 
there nothing else I would print it, that with it the 
honour of my Lord might be pubKshed. Thirdly, 
the many pious rules of ordering our life, about 
mortification, and observation of God's Kingdome 
within us, and the working thereof, of which he was 
a very diligent observer. These three things are 
very eminent in the author, and overweigh the de- 
fects, as I conceive, towards the pubUshing thereof. 

From Bemmerton near Salisbury, 
September 29, 1632. 

Briefe Notes relating to the dubious and offen- 
sive PLACES IN THE FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS 

To the 3 Consid. upon these words: 

Not for thy speech! 
Other Law and other Doctrine have we. 

These words about the H. Scripture suite with 



OF VALDESSO 173 

what he writes elsewhere, especially Consid. 32. 
But I like none of it, for it slights the Scripture too 
much. Holy Scriptures have not only an elemen- 
tary use, but a use of perfection and are able to 
make the man of God perfect (1 Tim. iv.). And 
David (though David) studied all the day long in 
it, and Joshua was to meditate therein day and 
night. (Josh, the 1.) 

To the 3 Consid. upon these words: 

As they also make use of the Scriptures to 

conserve the health of their minds. 

All the Saints of God may be said in some sence 
to have put confidence in Scripture, but not as a 
naked Word severed from God, but as the Word 
of God ; and in so doing they doe not sever their 
trust from God. But by trusting in the Word of 
God they trust in God. Hee that trusts in the 
king's word for anything, trusts in the king. 

To the 5 Consid. upon these words: 
God regards not how pious or impious we he. 

This place, together with many other, as namely 
Consid. 71, upon Our Father; and Consid. 94, 
upon these words : God doth not hold them for good 
or for evill for that they observe or not observe y &c., 
though it were the author's opinion, yet the truth 
of it would be examined. See the note upon Con- 
sid. 36. 



174 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

To the 6 Consid. 

The doctrine of the last passage must be warily 
understood. First, that it is not to be understood 
of actuall sinnes, but habituall; for I can no more 
free my selfe from actuall sinnes after Baptisme 
then I could of originall before and without Bap- 
tisme. The exemption from both is by the grace of 
God. Secondly, among habits, some oppose theo- 
logical vertues, as uncharitablenesse opposes char- 
ity, infidelity faith, distrust hope ; of these none 
can free themselves of themselves, but only by the 
grace of God. Other habits oppose morall vertues, 
as prodigality opposes moderation, and pusilla- 
nimity magnanimity. Of these the heathen freed 
themselves only by the generall providence of God, 
as Socrates and Aristides, &c. Where he sayes the 
inflammation of the naturall, he sayes aptly, so it be 
understood with the former distinction ; for fomes 
is not taken away, but accensio fomitis ; the nat- 
urall concupiscence is not extinguished, but the 
heate of it ass waged. 

To the 11 Consid. 

He often useth this manner of speech, heleeving 
by Revelation, not by relation, whereby I under- 
stand he meaneth only the effectuall operation or 
illumination of the Holy Spirit, testifying and ap- 
plying the revealed truth of the Gospell, and not 
any private enthusiasmes or revelations; as if he 



OF VALDESSO 175 

should say, 'A generall apprehension, or assent 
to the promises of the Gospell by heare-say, or 
relation from others, is not that which filleth the 
heart with joy and peace in believing ; but the 
Spirit's bearing witnesse with our spirit, revealing 
and applying the generall promises to every one in 
particular, with such syncerity and efficacy that it 
makes him godly, righteous, and sober all his Ufe 
long, — this I call beleeving by Revelation and 
not by relation.' 

[Valdesso, in the passage to which this note is 
attached, considers the state of that man who, 
though hard of belief and difficult to be persuaded, 
has at length been awakened to the truths of the 
Gospel, as infinitely preferable to the hasty faith 
which the man who is easily persuaded to adopt 
any opinion is too often induced to yield to the 
promises of the Gospel. The former, as having 
resigned his prejudices to the force of truth, is 
said to believe by Revelation ; whereas the latter, 
as having yielded to the Gospel the same weak 
assent which any other doctrines equally might 
have drawn from him, is said to believe by rela- 
tion, by human persuasion and the opinion of 
mankind.] 

To the 32 Consid. 

I much mishke the comparison of images and 
II. Scripture, as if they were both but alphabets 
and after a time to be left. The H. Scriptures, as I 



176 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

wrote before, have not only an elementary use, but 
a use of perfection ; neither can they ever be 
exhausted (as pictures may be by a plenarie cir- 
cumspection), but still, even to the most learned 
and perfect in them, there is somewhat to be 
learned more. Therefore David desireth God, in 
the 119 Psalme, to open his eyes that he might 
see the wondrous things of his Lawes and that he 
would make them his study ; although by other 
words of the same Psalme it is evident that he was 
not meanly conversant in them. Indeed, he that 
shall so attend to the bark of the letter as to neglect 
the consideration of God's worke in his heart 
through the Word doth amisse. Both are to be 
done : the Scriptures still used, and God's worke 
within us still observed. Who workes by His Word 
and ever in the reading of it. As for that text. They 
shall he all taught of God, it being Scripture, cannot 
be spoken to the disparagement of Scripture; but 
the meaning is this. That God in the dayes of the 
Gospell will not give an outward law of ceremonies 
as of old, but such a one as shall still have the assist- 
ance of the Holy Spirit applying it to our hearts, 
and ever outrunning the teacher, as it did when 
Peter taught Cornelius. There the case is plainer 
Cornelius had revelation, yet Peter was to be sent 
for; and those that have inspirations must still use 
Peter, God's Word, If we make another sence of 
that text, wee shall overthrow all means save Cate- 
chizing and set up enthusiasmes. 



OF VALDESSO 177 

In the Scripture are 
Doctrines — these ever teach more and more. 
Promises — these ever comfort more and more. 

Ro. XV. 4. 

[In this note Herbert justly objects to a very 
quaint and far-fetched comparison which the au- 
thor draws between the books of Holy Scripture 
and the images of the Roman CathoHc Church. As 
the unlearned are fond of placing pictorial images 
in different situations, in order that the objects 
of their behef might never be absent from their 
minds, so the learned dehght to heap up copies of 
the Holy Scriptures with notes, comments, and 
explanations of wise men, that they may be fur- 
nished with every information which they may 
desire on the subject of the Christian faith. But in 
both cases alike, those who are not indued with the 
true inspiration of the Spirit confine themselves to 
the study of these their first rudiments ; whereas 
the truly pious, who are guided by the Spirit of God, 
look upon Scripture in one case, and images in 
the other, as but the alphabet as it were of Chris- 
tianity, and to be cast aside after they have once 
obtained the revelation and grace of God. This 
comparison, as being incomplete, and in fact lead- 
ing to dangerous doctrines, Herbert very properly 
impugns.] 



178 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

To the 33 Consid. 

The doctrine of this Consideration cleareth that 
of the precedent. For as the servant leaves not the 
letter when he hath read it, but keepes it by him, 
and reads it againe and againe, and the more the 
promise is delayed the more he reads it and forti- 
fies himselfe with it, so are wee to doe with the 
Scriptures, and this is the use of the promises of 
the Scriptures. But the use of the doctrinall part 
is more, in regard it presents us not with the same 
thing only when it is read, as the promises doe, but 
enhghtens us with new considerations the more 
we read it. Much more might be said, but this 
sufficeth. He himselfe allowes it for a holy con- 
versation and refreshment. 

[In the 32nd Consideration; and amongst all di- 
vine and spiritual exercises and duties, he nameth 
the reading and meditation of Holy Scripture for 
the first and principal, as Consid. 47, and others ; 
so that it is plain the author had a very reverend 
esteem of the Holy Scripture, especially considering 
the time and place where he Kved. That Valdesso 
did not undervalue the Scriptures, notwithstanding 
the remarks alluded to in Herbert's last note, is 
evident from the passage to which this present note 
refers. In it the Scriptures are said to be to us as 
a letter would be to a servant from his lord, which 
is treasured up by him as containing promises of 
high and unusual favours, certain in the end to be 
fulfilled, although slow in coming.] 



OF VALDESSO 179 

To the 36 Consid. on these words: 

Neither fearing chastisement for transgression, 

nor hoping for reward, for observation, &c. 

All the discourse from this Une till the end of this 
chapter may seeme strange, but it is sutable to what 
the author holds elsewhere ; for he maintaines that 
it is faith and infidehty that shall judge us now 
since the Gospell, and that no other sin or vertue 
hath any thing to doe with us ; if we believe, no 
sinne shall hurt us ; if we beUeve not, no vertue 
shall helpe us. Therefore he saith here, we shall 
not be punished (which word I Hke here better 
than chastizement, because even the godly are chas- 
tized but not punished) for evill doing, nor re- 
warded for wel doing or living, for all the point lies 
in beheving or not beUeving. And with this exposi- 
tion the chapter is cleare enough; but the truth of 
the doctrine would be examined, however it may 
passe for his opinion. In the Church of God there 
is one fundamentall, but else variety. 

[The author's good meaning in this will better 
appear by his 98th Consideration of faith and good 
werks. The arguments of the author in this place 
on the Christian liberty may be correctly explained 
as Herbert has in this note explained them. It 
may, however, be questioned whether his language 
is not k little too obscure; so much so, indeed, that 
a hasty perusal of the chapter might lead those who 
were predisposed to such an inference to imagine 



180 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

that Valdesso had fallen into the grievous heresy 
which once led so many men astray in our own 
country, that even sins might be committed with 
impunity, and were not in fact sinful, when a man 
was once a member of the invisible Church of 
Christ and justified by faith.] 

To the 37 Consid. on these words: 
That God is so delicate and sensitive, &c. 

The Apostle saith that the wages of sinne is 
death, and therefore there is no sinne so small that 
merits not death, and that doth not provoke God, 
Who is a jealous God. [In the margin here, " This 
note is the French translator's."] 

To the 46 Consid. on these words: 
Exercise not thyself in anything pretending justi- 
fication. 

He meaneth (I suppose) that a man presume not 
to merit, that is, to obKge God, or justify himselfe 
before God, by any acts or exercises of rehgion; 
but that he ought to pray God affectionately and 
fervently to send him the light of His Spirit, which 
may be unto him as the sunne to a travellour in his 
journey; hee in the meane while applying himselfe 
to the duties of true piety and syncere rehgion, such 
as are prayer, fasting, alms-deeds, &c. after the 
example of devout Cornehus. 

[Or thus : there are two sorts of acts in religion, 
acts of humiliation and acts of confidence and joy; 



OF VALDESSO 181 

the person here described to be in the dark ought 
to use the first, and to forbear the second. Of the 
first sort are repentance, prayers, fasting, alms, mor- 
tifications, &c. ; of the second, receiving of the Com- 
munion, praises,^psahns, &c. These in divers cases 
ought, and were of old forborne for a time. This 
note almost explains itself. In the text to which it 
refers the Spirit of God is described as gradually 
shedding its light upon the mind in the same man- 
ner as the sun breaks by degrees upon the eyes of 
a traveller in the dark.] 

To the 49 Consid. on these words: 
Remaining quiet when they perceive no motion, &c. 

In indifferent things there is roome for motions, 
and expecting of them; but in things good, as to 
reUeve my neighbour, God hath already revealed 
His will about it. Therefore we ought to proceed, 
except there be a restraining motion, as S. Paul 
had when hee would have preached in Asia. And I 
conceive the restraining motions are much more 
frequent to the godly then inviting motions, be- 
cause the Scripture invites enough ; for it invites us 
to all good according to that singular place, Phil, 
iv. 8. A man is to embrace all good; but because 
he cannot doe all, God often chuseth which he 
shall doe, and that by restraining him from what 
He would not have him doe. 

[The author in this place is speaking of motions 
communicated by the Spirit, either to do or to 



182 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

refrain from doing certain actions. Herbert's note 
explains his sentiments on that subject.] 

To the same Consid. upon these words: 
A marCs free will doth consist, <Scc. 

He meanes a man's fre will is only in outward, 
not in spirituall things. ^ 

To the same Consid. on these words: 

Neither Pharaoh nor Judas, &c, could cease to he 

such. 

This doctrine, however true in substance, yet 
needeth discreet and wary explaining. 

[The doctrine that bad men, such as Pharaoh, 
Judas, and other vessels of wrath, only fulfilled 
parts appointed to them by God, and could not be 
otherwise than what they were.] 

To the 58 Consid. upon the seventh difference. 

By occasions I suppose hee meaneth the ordi- 
nary or necessary duties and occasions of our call- 
ing and condition of Ufe, and not those which are 
in themselves occasions of sinne, such as are all 
vain conversations. For as for these, pious per- 
sons ought alwaies to avoid them. But in those 
other occasions God's Spirit will mortify and try 
them as gold in the fire. 

[The author speaks of human learning as insuf- 
ficient to guide a man to the knowledge of the 
truth. Herbert's note explains itself.] 



OF VALDESSO 183 

To the 59 Consid. upon these words : 

And with douhtjulnesse I see He 'prayed in the 

garden. 

To say our Saviour prayed with doubtfuhiesse is 
more then I can or dare say. But with condition or 
conditionally He prayed as man, though as God 
He knew the Event. Feare is given to Christ, but 
not doubt, and upon good ground. 

To the m Consid. 

This Chapter is considerable. The intent of it, 
that the world pierceth not godly men's actions no 
more than God's, is in some sort true, because they 
are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. ii. 14). So Ukewise 
are the godly in some sort exempt from Lawes, 
for Lex justo non est posita. But when he enlargeth 
them he goes too farre. For first, concerning Abra- 
ham and Sara, I ever tooke that for a weaknesse in 
the great patriark. And that the best of God's ser- 
vants should have weaknesses, is no way repugnant 
to the way of God's Spirit in them, or to the Scrip- 
tures, or to themselves, being still men, though 
godly men. Nay, they are purposely recorded in 
Holy Writ. Wherefore as David's adultery cannot 
be excused, so need not Abraham's equivocation, 
nor Paul's neither when he professed himselfe a 
Pharisee, which strictly he was not, though in the 
point of resurrection he agreed with them and they 
with him. The reviling also of Ananias seemes, by 



184 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

his owne recalling, an oversight; yet I remember 
the Fathers forbid us to judge of the doubtfuU 
actions of saints in Scripture, which is a modest 
admonition. But it is one thing not to judge, 
another to defend them. Secondly, when he useth 
the word jurisdiction, allowing no jurisdiction over 
the godly, this cannot stand, and it is ill doctrine in 
a common-wealth. The godly are punishable as 
others when they doe amisse, and they are to be 
judged according to the outward fact, unlesse it be 
evident to others as well as to themselves that God 
moved them; for otherwise any malefactor may 
pretend motions, which is insufferable in a common- 
wealth. Neither doe I doubt but if Abraham had 
lived in our kingdome under government, and had 
killed his sonne Isaac, but he might have been 
justly put to death for it by the magistrate, unlesse 
he could have made it appeare that it was done 
by God's immediate precept. He had done justly 
and yet had been punished justly, that is. In hu- 
mano foro et secundum praesumptionem legalem 
[according to the common and legal proceedings 
among men]. So may a warre be just on both sides, 
and was just in the Canaanites and IsraeUtes both. 
How the godly are exempt from laws is a known 
point among divines; but when he sayes they are 
equally exempt with God, that is dangerous and 
too farre. The best salve for the whole chapter is 
to distinguish judgment. There is a judgment of 
authority (upon a fact), and there is a judgment 



OF VALDESSO 185 

of the learned. For as a magistrate judgeth in his 
tribunall, so a scholar judgeth in his study and cen- 
sureth this or that ; whence come so many books 
of severall men's opinions. Perhaps he meant all 
of this later, not of the former. Worldly learned 
men cannot judg spirituall men's actions, but the 
magistrate may. 

[And surely this the author meant by the word 
jurisdiction, for so he useth the same word in Con- 
sideration 68 ad finem. The 62d Consideration 
treats of the dangerous and useless question how 
far saints are exempt from human law, laying 
down at the same time a position equally unten- 
able in its full extent, that men have neither right 
nor abiUty to judge of those things which the holy 
men recorded in Scripture have done contrary to 
human law. The note before us was penned by 
Herbert to qualify and restrict this doctrine.] 

To the 63 Consid. 

The authour doth still discover too slight a 
regard of the Scripture, as if it were but children's 
meat ; whereas there is not onely milke there, but 
strong meat also (Heb. v. 14); things hard to bee 
understood (2 Pet. iii. 16) ; things needing great con- 
sideration (Mat. xxiv. 15). Besides, he opposeth the 
teaching of the Spirit to the teaching of Scripture, 
which the Holy Spirit wrote. Although the Holy 
Spirit apply the Scripture, yet what the Scripture 
teacheth the Spirit teacheth ; the Holy Spirit, 



186 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

indeed, some time doubly teaching, both in pen- 
ning and in applying. I wonder how this opinion 
could befall so good a man as it seems Valdesso 
was, since the saints of God in all ages have ever 
held in so pretious esteem the Word of God as 
their joy and crowne and their treasure on earth. 
Yet his owne practice seemes to confute his opin- 
ion ; for the most of his Considerations, being 
grounded upon some text of Scripture, shewes that 
he was continually conversant in it and not used it 
for a time onely and then cast it away, as he sayes 
strangely. There is no more to be said of this chap- 
ter but that his opinion of the Scripture is unsuffer- 
able. As for the text of S. Pet. 2 Ep. i. 19, which 
he makes the ground of his Consideration, build- 
ing it all upon the word, TJntill the day-starre arise, 
it is nothing. How many places doe the Fathers 
bring about until against the heretiques who dis- 
puted against the virginity of the blessed Virgin, 
out of that text (Mat. i. 25), where it is said, 
Joseph knew her not until shee had brought forth 
her firstborn Sonne, as if afterwards he had knowne 
her. And indeed in common sence, if I bid a man 
stay in a place untill I come, I doe not then bid 
him goe away, but rather stay longer, that I may 
speak with him or doe something else when I doe 
come. So S. Peter bidding the dispersed Hebrews 
attend to the word till the day dawn, doth not bid 
them then cast away the word, or leave it off; but, 
however, he would have them attend to it till that 



OF VALDESSO 187 

time, and then afterward they will attend it of 
themselves without his exhortation. Nay, it is 
observeable that in that very place he preferres the 
word before the sight of the Transfiguration of 
Christ. So that the word hath the precedence 
even of revelation and visions. And so his whole 
discourse and sevenfold observation falls to the 
ground. 

[In the 63d Consideration Valdesso attempts to 
show, hy seven conformities, that the Holy Scripture 
is like a candle in a dark place, and that tJie Holy 
Spirit is like the sunne; in this showing that sUght 
regard for Scripture with which Herbert charges 
him in the note before us.] 

To the Q5 Consid. on these words: 

Acknowledging the benefit received hy Jesus Christ 

our Lord; like as it betides unto a thirsty travellour, 

to whom, &c. 

This comparison is infinitely too base. There is 
none of the references which we have had with our 
Lord Jesus Christ, dissolved but infinitely per- 
fected, and He shall ever continue our glorious 
Head. And all the influences of our happinesse 
shall ever descend from Him, and our chief glory 
shall, as I conceive, consist in that which He saith 
among the last words that He spake in the XVH 
John, 24, Father, I will that they also whom Thou 
hast given Me bee with Me where I am, that they also 
may behold the glory which Thou hast given Me be- 



188 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

fore the foundation of the world. [To which agreeth 
that which S. Paul writes (2 Thes. 1, chap. 9).] 

To the 69 Consid. upon these words: 
So much faith as thereby to remove mountaines. 

Divines hold that justifying faith and the faith 
of miracles are divers gifts and of a different na- 
ture, the one being gratia gratis data, the other 
gratia gratum faciens, — this being given only to 
the godly, and the other sometimes to the wicked. 
Yet doubtlesse the best faith in us is defective and 
arrives not to the point it should ; which if it did, 
it would doe more than it does. And miracle- 
working, as it may be severed from justifying faith, 
so it may be a fruit of it and an exaltation. (1 John 
V. 14.) 

[This note is appended to the 69th Considera- 
tion, that all men, bearing in mind the faith to 
work miracles with which some have been endued, 
should always judge their own faith incomplete. 
And secondly, that their faith is always to be mea- 
sured by their knowledge of God and Christ.] 

Page 247. 

Though this were the author's opinion, yet the 
truth of it would be examined. The 98th Consid- 
eration, about being justified by faith or by good 
works, or condemned for unbeKef or evil works, 
make plain the Author's meaning. 

[The author in this place alludes briefly to the 



OF VALDESSO 189 

imputed merits of Christ, apparently as if they 
entirely superseded human virtue and rendered it 
unnecessary. Herbert refers to the 98th Consider- 
ation to explain this apparent inconsistency.] 

Page 270. 

By the saints of the world he everywhere under- 
stands the cunning hypocrite, who by the world is 
counted a very saint for his outward show of holi- 
ness. And we meet with two sorts of these saints of 
the world : one whose hoUness consists in a few cer- 
emonies and superstitious observations ; the other's 
in a zeal against these, and in a strict perform- 
ance of a few cheap and easy duties of reHgion with 
no less superstition ; both of them having forms or 
vizors of godhness, but denying the power thereof. 

[This note merely explains a term, saints of the 
world, which Valdesso employs in the Considera- 
tion to which the note is attached.] 

Page 354. 

Though this be the author's opinion, yet the 
truth of it would be examined. The 98th Consid- 
eration, about being justified by faith or by good 
works, or condemned for unbelief or evil works, 
make plain the author's meaning. 

[Herbert here repeats a note which he had 
attached to a previous passage. He again alludes 
to the same doctrine, qualifying it by a reference 
to a future Consideration.! 



190 THE DIVINE CONSIDERATIONS 

To the 94 Consid. 

By Hebrew piety he meaneth not the very cere- 
monies of the Jewes, which no Christian observes 
now, but an analogat observation of ecclesiasticall 
and canonical! lawes superinduced to the Scrip- 
tures, Kke to that of the Jewes, which they added 
to their divine law. This being well weighed, will 
make the Consideration easy and very observable. 
For at least some of the Papists are come now to 
what the Pharisees were come to in our Saviour's 
time. 

[This note is written to explain the term, Hebrew 
fiety, and in no other way refers to the text of 
Valdesso.] 

Page 355. 

This is true only of the Popish cases of con- 
science, which depend almost wholly on their 
canon law and decretals, knots of their own tying 
and untying ; but there are other cases of con- 
science, grounded on piety and moraUty, and the 
difficulty of applying their general rules to particu- 
lar actions, which are a most noble study. 

[Herbert here quahfies another statement of 
Valdesso, which would seem to confound the cases 
of conscience which the Romanists were so fond of 
framing, with others which often arise in the bosoms 
of good men and are founded on a regard to piety 
and morality.] 



LETTERS OF GEORGE HERBERT 



PREFACE 

SIXTEEN EngHsh letters of Herbert's have 
been preserved in whole or in part. Six of 
them were written to his stepfather, Sir John 
Dan vers, four to his brother Henry, two to Nicho- 
las Ferrar (besides the one already printed as a 
preface to the notes on Valdesso), and one each to 
his mother, his sister, and the Countess of Pem- 
broke. They are arranged here chronologically. 
Though not all dated, on internal evidence it is 
possible to fix approximately the time when each 
was written. 

Herbert's letter to his mother first appeared in 
Walton's Life. In an appendix to that book Walton 
also printed Herbert's letter to his sister, the six 
letters to Danvers, and the one to Ferrar sending 
notes on Valdesso. In the appendix to the collected 
Lives he added the letter to the Countess of Pem- 
broke. The other two letters to Ferrar are derived 
from John Ferrar's Life of his brother. Those to 
Henry Herbert were first printed in 1818, in a vol- 
ume of letters of the Herbert family edited by Re- 
becca Warner and entitled Epistolary Curiosities. 

At first sight these are not precisely the letters 
of Herbert which one would desire. All, with the 



194 PREFACE TO 

exception of those to Ferrar, are addressed to rela- 
tives. But even so, the collection is strangely 
meagre. There is no letter to Edward Herbert, 
only one to Herbert's mother, that one being the 
most -artificial of all ; while the correspondence 
with Ferrar which, according to Walton and Oley, 
was so frequent as to be their chief bond of in- 
timacy, is here represented by fragments. Those 
were disturbed times, when letters were easily lost 
or destroyed; but one would suppose that less than 
forty years after Herbert's death it would have 
been easy to gather more letters of a man then 
decidedly famous and during his hfe widely con- 
nected. 

~ Yet if the letters are few and brief, they throw 
valuable light on Herbert's character and on sev- 
eral important incidents of his hfe. It is true they 
say nothing about his verse, his Crisis time, his 
marriage, his taking orders, his clerical work at 
Bemerton. But during the Cambridge years they 
tell of his slender healthy his disposition to extrava- 
gance, his fondness for buying books, his purpose 
of the priesthood, his hght postponement of it, his 
eagerness for the Oratorship. In his later years, 
too, we catch gUmpses of his rebuilding Leighton 
Church, his care of his nieces, and his pleasant 
relations with the Pembrokes. On the whole, that 
must be regarded as a fortunate selection of letteia 
which in so short a compass reports so much about 
their reticent writer. 



LETTERS 195 

Furthermore, these letters are individual and 
truthful. They are written by one who has some- 
thing of importance in mind which he wishes to 
put into the mind of another. The correspondence 
of the seventeenth century does not usually con- 
vey this impression. Verbiage, compliment, con- 
ventional modes of utterance, distortion of sincerity 
through hterary desire, make many of the letters 
of this period tiresome reading. That is the case 
with Donne's voluminous letters, with Herbert's 
letters in Latin, — yes, even with Milton's. So 
obscuring are the literary flourishes in these la- 
bored compositions that it is difficult to discover 
what has happened or what is felt. Something of 
this stiffness will be noticed in the hortations of 
Herbert's letter to his mother, which seems rather 
intended for the pubhc than for a suffering dear 
one. But in general the simple and meaningful 
tone of these letters probably gives us our best 
indication of how Herbert talked in the intimacies 
of ordinary life. 



LETTERS OF GEORGE HERBERT 

To Sir J. D.^ 
Sir, 

THOUGH I had the best wit in the world, yet 
it would easily tyre me to find out variety of 
thanks for the diversity of your favours, if I sought 
to do so; but I possess it not. And therefore let it 
be suflScient for me that the same heart which you 
have won long since is still true to you, and hath 
nothing else to answer your infinite kindnesses but 
a constancy of obedience ; only hereafter I will 
take heed how I propose my desires unto you, 
since I find you so willing to yield to my requests ; 
for since your favours come a horseback, there is 
reason that my desires should go a-f oot ; neither do 
I make any question but that you have performed 
your kindness to the full, and that the horse is 
every way fit for me, and I will strive to imitate the 
compleatness of your love, with being in some pro- 
portion, and after my manner, your most obedient 
Servant, 

George Herbert. 



198 LETTERS 

To Sm John Danvers 

Sir, 

I dare no longer be silent, lest while I think I am 
modest, I wrong both myself, and also the confi- 
dence my friends have in me. Wherefore I will 
open my case unto you, which I think deserves the 
reading at the least : and it is this, I want books 
extremely. You know. Sir, how I am now setting 
foot into Divinity, to lay the platform of my future 
life; and shall I then be fain always to borrow 
books, and build on another's foundation ? What 
tradesman is there who will set up without his 
tools ? Pardon my boldness. Sir; it is a most seri- 
ous case, nor can I write coldly in that wherein 
consisteth the making good of my former educa- 
tion, of obeying that spirit which hath guided me 
hitherto, and of atchieving my (I dare say) holy 
ends. This also is aggravated, in that I apprehend 
what my friends would have been forward to say 
if I had taken ill courses. Follow your book, and 
you shall want nothing. You know. Sir, it is their 
ordinary speech, and now let them make it good; 
for since I hope I have not deceived their expecta- 
tion, let not them deceive mine. But perhaps they 
will say. You are sickly, you must not study too 
hard. It is true (God knows) I am weak, yet not 
so but that every day I may step one step towards 
my journie's end ; and I love my friends so well as 
that if all things proved not well, I had rather the 



LETTERS 199 

fault should lie on me than on them. But they will 
object again, What becomes of your Annuity? 
Sir, if there be any truth in me, I find it Uttle 
enough to keep me in health. You know I was sick 
last vacation, neither am I yet recovered, so that I 
am fain ever and anon to buy somewhat tending 
towards my health; for infirmities are both painful 
and costly. Now this Lent I am forbid utterly to 
eat any fish, so that I am fain to dyet in my cham- 
ber at mine own cost; for in our pubhck halls, you 
know, is nothing but fish and white-meats ; out of 
Lent also twice a week, on Fridayes and Satur- 
days, I must do so, which yet sometimes I fast. 
Sometimes also I ride to Newmarket, and there lie 
a day or two for fresh air; all which tend to avoid- 
ing of costher matters, if I should fall absolutely 
sick. I protest and vow, I even study thrift, and 
yet I am scarce able with much ado to make one 
half year's allowance shake hands with the other. 
And yet if a book of four or five shillings come in 
my way, I buy it, though I fast for it; yea, some- 
times of ten shillings. But, alas Sir, what is that to 
those infinite volumes of Divinity, which yet every 
day swell and grow bigger? Noble Sir, pardon 
my boldness, and consider but these three things: 
first, the bulk of Divinity. Secondly, the time when 
I desire this (which is now, when I must lay the 
foundation of my whole Hfe). Thirdly, what I de- 
sire and to what end, not vain pleasures, nor to a 
vain end. If then. Sir, there be any course, either 



200 LETTERS 

by engaging my future annuity, or any other way, 
I desire you, Sir, to be my mediator to them in my 
behalf. 

Now I write to you. Sir, because to you I have 
ever opened my heart, and have reason by the 
Patents of your perpetual favour to do so still, for 
I am sure you love your faithfuUest Servant, 

George Herbert. 

Trin. Coll., March 18, 1617. 

To Mr. H. Herbert^ 

Brother, 

The disease which I am troubled with now is the 
shortness of time ; for it hath been my fortune of 
late to have such sudden warning, that I have not 
leisure to impart unto you some of those observa- 
tions which I have framed to myself in conversa- 
tion, and whereof I would not have you ignorant. 
As I shall find occasion, you shall receive them by 
pieces; and if there be any such which you have 
found useful to yourself, communicate them to me. 
You live in a brave nation, where, except you wink,^ 
you cannot but see many brave examples. Be 
covetous, then, of all good which you see in French- 
men, whether it be in knowledge or in fashion or 
in words; for I would have you, even in speeches 
to observe so much as, when you meet with a witty 
French speech, try to speak the Uke in English. 
So shall you play a good merchant, by transport- 
ing French commodities to your own country. Let 



LETTERS 201 

there be no kind of excellency which it is possible 
for you to attain to, which you seek not. And have 
a good conceit of your wit, mark what I say, have a 
good conceit of your wit; that is, be proud not with 
a foohsh vaunting of yourself when there is no 
cause, but by setting a just price of your qualities. 
And it is the part of a poor spirit to undervalue 
himself and blush. But I am out of my time. 
When I have more time, you shall hear more; and 
write you freely to me in your letters, for I am your 
ever loving brother, 

G. Herbert. 

P. S. My brother is somewhat of the same tem- 
per, and perhaps a little more mild, but you will 
hardly perceive it. 

To my dear Brother, 
Mr. Henry Herbert, at Paris. 

To THE TRULY NOBLE SiR J. D.^ 

Sir, 

I understand by a letter from my brother 
Henry that he hath bought a parcel of books for 
me, and that they are coming over. Now though 
they have hitherto travelled upon your charge, yet 
if my sister were acquainted that they are ready, 
I dare say she would make good her promise of 
taking five or six pound upon her, which she hath 
hitherto deferred to do, not of herself, but upon the 
want of those books which were not to be got in 



202 LETTERS 

England. For that which surmounts, though your 
noble disposition is infinitely free, yet I had rather 
flie to my old ward, that if any course could be 
taken of doubUng my annuity now upon condition 
that I should surcease from all title to it after I 
enter'd into a benefice, I should be most glad to 
entertain it, and both pay for the surplusage of 
these books and for ever after cease my clamorous 
and greedy bookish requests. It is high time now 
that I should be no more a burden to you, since I 
can never answer what I have already received; 
for your favours are so ancient^ that they prevent 
my memory, and yet still grow upon your hum- 
blest servant, 

George Herbert. 

I remember my most humble duty to my 
mother. I have wrote to my dear sick sister this 
week already, and therefore now I hope may be 
excused. 

I pray. Sir, pardon my boldness of enclosing 
my brother's letter in yours, for it was because I 
know your lodging, but not his. 

To Sm John Danvers 

Sir, 

This week hath loaded me with your favours. 
I wish I could have come in person to thank you, 
but it is not possible. Presently after Michaelmas 
I am to make an oration to the whole University, of 



LETTERS 203 

an hour long in Latin, and my Lincoln journey 
hath set me much behind hand: neither can I so 
much as go to Bugden and deliver your letter, yet 
I have sent it thither by a faithful messenger this 
day. I beseech you all, you and my dear Mother 
and sister, to pardon me ; for my Cambridge ne- 
cessities are stronger to tye me here than yours 
to London. If I could possibly have come, none 
should have done my message to Sir Fr. Nether- 
sole for me. He and I are ancient acquaintance, 
and I have a strong opinion of him that if he can 
do me a courtesy, he will of himself; yet your 
appearing in it affects me strangely. I have sent 
you here enclosed a letter from our Master on 
my behalf, which if you can send to Sir Francis 
before his departure, it will do well, for it express- 
eth the Universitie's incUnation to me. Yet if you 
cannot send it with much convenience, it is no 
matter, for the gentleman needs no incitation to 
love me. 

The Orator's place (that you may understand 
what it is) is the finest place in the University, 
though not the gainfullest; yet that will be about 
30 Z. per an. But the commodiousness is beyond 
the revenue ; for the Orator writes all the Univer- 
sity letters, makes all the orations, be it to King, 
Prince, or whatever comes to the University; to 
requite these pains, he takes place next the doc- 
tors, is at all their assemblies and meetings, and 
sits above the proctors, is regent, or non-regent at 



204 LETTERS 

his pleasure, and such like gaynesses, which will 
please a young man well.^ 

I long to hear from Sir Francis. I pray Sir, send 
the letter you receive from him to me as soon as 
you can, that I may work the Heads to my pur- 
pose. I hope I shall get this place without all 
your London helps, of which I am very proud ; 
not but that I joy in your favours, but that you 
may see that if all fail, yet I am able to stand on 
mine own legs. Noble Sir, I thank you for your 
infinite favours; I fear only that I have omitted 
some fitting circumstance; yet you will pardon my 
haste, which is very great, though never so but that 
I have both time and work to be your extreme 
servant, 

George Herbert. 

To Sm John Danvers 

I have received the things you sent me, safe ; 
and now the only thing I long for is to hear of my 
dear sick sister: first, how her health fares, next, 
whether my peace be yet made with her concern- 
ing my unkind departure. Can I be so happy, as 
to hear of both these that they succeed well ? Is 
it not too much for me ? Good Sir, make it plain 
to her, that I loved her even in my departure, in 
looking to her son and my charge. I suppose she 
is not disposed to spend her eyesight on a piece 
of paper, or else I had wrote to her; when I shall 
understand that a letter will be seasonable, my 



LETTERS 205 

pen is ready. Concerning the Orator's place, all 
goes well yet; the next Friday it is tryed, and ac- 
cordingly you shall hear. I have forty businesses 
in my hands ; your courtesie will pardon the haste 
of your humblest servant, 

George Herbert. 
Trin. Coll., Jan. 19, 1619. 

To Sir John Danvers 

Sir, 

I understand by Sir Francis Nethersol's letter, 
that he fears I have not fully resolved of the mat- 
ter, since this place being civil may divert me too 
much from Divinity, at which, not without cause, 
he thinks I aim. But I have wrote him back that 
this dignity hath no such earthiness in it but it 
may very well be joined with heaven; or if it had 
to others, yet to me it should not, for aught I yet 
knew ; and therefore I desire him to send me a 
direct answer in his next letter. I pray, Sir, there- 
fore, cause this enclosed to be carried to liis bro- 
ther's house of his own name (as I think) at the 
sign of the Pedler and the Pack on London-bridge, 
for there he assigns me. I cannot yet find leisure 
to write to my Lord, or Sir Benjamin Ruddyard ; 
but I hope I shall shortly, though for the reckoning 
of your favours I shall never find time and paper 
enough, yet am I your readiest servant. 

George Herbert 

Trin. Coll. Octob. 6. 1619. 



206 LETTERS 

I remember my most humble duty to my 
mother, who cannot think me lazy, since I rode 
200 miles ^ to see a sister, in a way I knew not, and 
in the midst of much business, and all in a fort- 
night, not long since. 

For my dear sick Sister^ 

Most dear Sister, 

Think not my silence forgetfulness, or that my 
love is as dumb as my papers; though businesse 
may stop my hand, yet my heart, a much better 
member, is always with you; and, which is more, 
with our good and gracious God, incessantly beg- 
ging some ease of your pains with that earnestness 
that becomes your griefs and my love. God, Who 
knows and sees this writing, knows also that my 
solliciting Him has been much and my tears many 
for you. Judge me then by those waters and not 
by my ink, and then you shall justly value your 
most truly, most heartily, affectionate brother and 
servant. 

George Herbert. 

Trin. Coll. Decern. 6, 1620. 

A Letter of Mr. George Herbert to his 
mother in her sickness 

Madam, 

At my last parting from you I was the better 
content because I was in hope I should my self 
carry all sickness out of your family; but since I 



LETTERS 207 

know I did not and that your share continues, or 
rather increaseth, I wish earnestly that I were 
again with you ; and would quickly make good my 
wish but that my employment does fix me here, 
being now but a month to our Commencement; 
wherein my absence, by how much it naturally 
augmenteth suspicion, by so much shall it make 
my prayers the more constant and the more earnest 
for you to the God of all consolation. In the mean 
time I beseech you to be chearful and comfort 
yourself in the God of all comfort. Who is not will- 
ing to behold any sorrow but for sin. What hath 
affliction grievous in it more then for a moment ? 
or why should our afflictions here have so much 
power or boldness as to oppose the hope of our 
joys hereafter .? Madam, as the earth is but a point 
in respect of the heavens, so are earthly troubles 
compar'd to heavenly joyes ; therefore if either 
age or sickness lead you to those joyes, consider 
what advantage you have over youth and health, 
who are now so near those true comforts. Your 
last letter gave me an earthly preferment, and, I 
hope, kept heavenly for your self. But wou'd you 
divide and choose too ? Our colledg customs allow 
not that; and I shou'd account my self most happy 
if I might change with you; for I have alwaies 
observ'd the thred of life to be like other thrcds or 
skenes of silk, full of snarles and incumbrances. 
Happy is he whose bottome* is wound up and laid 
ready for work in the New Jerusalem. For my 



208 LETTERS 

self, dear mother, I alwaies fear'd sickness more 
then death; because sickness hath made me unable 
to perform those offices for which I came into the 
world and must yet be kept in it. But you are 
freed from that fear who have already abundantly 
discharged that part, having both ordered your 
family and so brought up your children that they 
have attain'd to the years of discretion and com- 
petent maintenance. So that now if they do not 
well, the fault cannot be charg'd on you — whose 
example and care of them will justifie you both to 
the world and your own conscience; in somuch 
that whether you turn your thoughts on the life 
past or on the joyes that are to come, you have 
strong preservatives against all disquiet.^ And for 
temporal afflictions, I beseech you consider all that 
can happen to you are either afflictions of estate 
or body or mind. For those of estate, of what poor 
regard ought they to be, since if we have riches we 
are commanded to give them away! so that the 
best use of them is, having, not to have them. But 
perhaps, being above the common people, our 
credit and estimation calls on us to live in a more 
splendid fashion. But, oh God ! how easily is that 
answered when we consider that the blessings in 
the Holy Scripture are never given to the rich, but 
to the poor! I never find Blessed he the rich, or 
Blessed he the nohle ; but Blessed he the meek, and 
Blessed he the poor, and Blessed he the mourners, for 
they shall he comforted. And yet, oh God! most 



LETTERS 209 

carry themselves so as if they not only not desir'd 
but even fear'd to be blessed. And for afflictions of 
the body, dear madam, remember the holy mar- 
tyrs of God, how they have been burnt by thou- 
sands and have endur'd such other tortures as the 
very mention of them might beget amazement; 
but their firy trials have had an end, and yours 
(which, praised be God, are less) are not hke to 
continue long.^ I beseech you let such thoughts as 
these moderate your present fear and sorrow, and 
know that if any of yours should prove a GoHah- 
like trouble, yet you may say with David, That 
God who delivered me out of the paws of the lyon 
and hear will also deliver me out of the hands of this 
uncircumcised Philistine. Lastly, for those afflic- 
tions of the soul, consider that God intends that 
to be as a sacred temple for Himself to dwell in, 
and will not allow any room there for such an in- 
mate as grief, or allow that any sadness shall be 
His competitor. And above all, if any care of fu- 
ture things molest you, remember those admirable 
words of the Psalmist, Cast thy care on the Lordy 
and He shall nourish thee (Psal. Iv.). To which 
joyn that of St. Peter, Casting all your care on the 
Lordy for He careth for you (1 Pet. v. 7). What an 
admirable thing is this, that God puts ffis shoulder 
to our burthen and entertains our care for us, that 
we may the more quietly intend His service! To 
conclude, let me commend only one place more to 
you (Philip, iv. 4): St. Paul saith there, Rejoyce 



210 LETTERS 

in the Lord alwaies ; and again I say rejoyce. He 
doubles it to take away the scruple of those that 
might say, What, shall we rejoyce in afflictions ? 
Yes, I say again, rejoyce; so that it is not left to us 
to rejoyce or not rejoyce, but whatsoever befalls us 
we must alwaies, at all times, rejoyce in the Lord, 
Who taketh care for us. And it follows in the next 
verse : Let your moderation appear to all men ; the 
Lord is at hand ; he careful jor nothing. What can 
be said more comfortably? Trouble not your- 
selves ; God is at hand to deUver us from all or in 
all. Dear madam, pardon my boldness, and accept 
the good meaning of 

Your most obedient son, 

George Herbert. 
Trin. Coll., May 29, 1622. 

To Sir Henry Herbert 

Dear Brother, 

That you did not only entertain my proposals 
but advance them, was lovingly done and Uke a 
good brother. Yet truly it was none of my mean- 
ing, when I wrote, to put one of our nieces into 
your hands, but barely what I wrote I meant, and 
no more; and am glad that although you offer 
more, yet you will do, as you write, that also. I was 
desirous to put a good mind into the way of char- 
ity, and that was all I intended. For concerning 
your offer of receiving one, I will tell you what I 
wrote to our eldest brother when he urged one 



LETTERS 211 

upon me, and but one, and that at my choice. I 
wrote to him that I would have both or neither ; 
and that upon this ground, because they were to 
come into an unknown country, tender in know- 
ledge, sense, and age, and knew none but one who 
could be no company to them. Therefore I consid- 
ered that if one only came, the comfort intended 
would prove a discomfort. Since that I have seen 
the fruit of my observation, for they have lived so 
lovingly, lying, eating, walking, praying, working, 
still together, that I take a comfort therein ; and 
would not have to part them yet, till I take some 
opportunity to let them know your love, for which 
both they shall and I do thank you. It is true there 
is a third sister,^ whom to receive were the great- 
est charity of all, for she is youngest and least 
looked unto ; having none to do it but her school- 
mistress, and you know what those mercenary 
creatures are. Neither hath she any to repair unto 
at good times, as Christmas, &c. which you know 
is the encouragement of learning all the year after, 
except my Cousin Bett take pity of her, which yet 
at that distance is some difficulty. If you could 
think of taking her, as once you did, surely it were 
a great good deed, and I would have her conveyed 
to you. But I judge you not. Do that which God 
shall put into your heart, and the Lord bless all 
your purposes to his glory. Yet truly if you take 
her not, I am thinking to do it, even beyond my 
strength; especially at this time, being more beg- 



212 LETTERS 

garly now than I have been these many years, as 
having spent two hundred pounds in building;^ 
which to me that have nothing yet, is very much. 
But though I both consider this and your observa- 
tion also of the unthankfulness of kindred bred up, 
(which generally is very true,) yet I care not ; I for- 
get all things so I may do them good who want 
it. So I do my part to them, let them think of me 
what they will or can. I have another Judge, to 
Whom I stand or fall. If I should regard such 
things, it were in another's power to defeat my 
charity, and evil should be stronger than good: 
But difficulties are so far from coohng Christians, 
that they whet them. Truly it grieves me to think 
of the child, how destitute she is, and that in this 
necessary time of education. For the time of breed- 
ing is the time of doing children good : and not as 
many who think they have done fairly if they 
leave them a good portion after their decease. But 
take this rule, and it is an outlandish^ one, which I 
commend to you as being now a father. The best- 
hred child hath the best portion. Well, the good 
God bless you more and more, and all yours, and 
make your family a houseful of God's servants. 
So prays your ever-loving brother, 

G. Herbert. 

My wife's and nieces' service. 

To my very dear Brother, 
Sir Henry Herbert, at Court. 



LETTERS 213 

To Sir Henry Herbert 

Dear Bro. 

I was glad of your Cambridge news ; but you 
joyed me exceedingly with your relation of my 
Lady Duchess's ^ forwardness in our church build- 
ing. I am glad I used you in it; and you have no 
cause to be sorry, since it is God's business. If 
there fall out yet any rub, you shall hear of me ; 
and your offering of yourself to move my Lords 
of Manchester and BoHngbroke is very welcome to 
me. To show a forwardness in reHgious works is a 
good testimony of a good spirit. The Lord bless 
you, and make you abound in every good work, to 
the joy of your ever loving brother, 

G. Herbert. 

March 21, Bemerton. 

To my dear Brother, 
Sir Henry Herbert, at Court. 

To Sir Henry Herbert 

Dear Brother, 

It is so long since I heard from you, that I long 
to hear both how you and yours do, and also what 
becomes of you this summer. It is the whole 
amount of this letter, and therefore entertain it 
accordingly from your very affectionate brother, 

G. Herbert. 

7 June, Bemerton. 

My wife's and nieces' service to you. 



214 LETTERS 

To Nicholas Ferrar^ 

My exceeding dear Brother, 

Although you have a much better Paymaster 
than myself, even Him Whom we both serve, yet I 
shall ever put your care of Leighton upon my ac- 
count, and give you myself for it, to be yours for- 
ever. God knows I have desired a long time to do 
Jhe place good, and have endeavoured many ways 
to find out a man for it. And now my gracious 
Lord God is pleased to give me you for the man 
I desired ; for which I humbly thank Him, and am 
so far from giving you cause to apology about your 
counselling me herein, that I take it exceeding 
kindly of you. I refuse not advice from the mean- 
est that creeps upon God's earth — no, not though 
the advice step so far as to be reproof; much less 
can I disesteem it from you, whom I esteem to be 
God's faithful and diKgent servant, not consider- 
ing you any other ways as neither I myself desire 
to be considered. Particularly I Uke all your ad- 
dresses, and, for ought I see, they are ever to be 
hked. [So he goes on in the discourse of the build- 
ing the church in such and such a form as N. F. 
advised, and letting N. F. know all he had and 
would do to get moneys to proceed in it, and con- 
cludes thus:] You write very lovingly, that all 
your things are mine. If so, let this of Leighton 
Church the care be amongst the chief est also; so 
also have I requested Mr. W[ood-note] for his 



LETTERS 215 

part. Now God the Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ bless you more and more, and so turn you 
all in your several ways one to the other, that ye 
may be a heavenly comfort, to His praise and the 
great joy of 

Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus, 
George Herbert. 

Postscript. As I had written thus much, I 
received a letter from my brother, Sir Henry 
H[erbert], of the blessed success that God had 
given us, by moving the duchess's heart to an 
exceeding cheerfulness in signing 100 l. with her 
own hands, and promising to get her son to do as 
much, with some httle apology that she had done 
nothing in it (as my brother writes) hitherto. She 
referred it also to my brother to name at first what 
the sum should be; but he told her grace that he 
would by no means do so, urging that charity must 
be free. She Hked our book well, and has given 
order to the tenants at Leighton to make payment 
of it. God Almighty prosper the work. Amen. 

To Nicholas Ferrar 

My Dear Brother, 

I thank you heartily for Leighton, your care, 
your counsel, your cost. And as I am glad for the 
thing, so no less glad for the heart that God has 
given you and yours to pious works. Blessed be 
my God and dear Master, the Spring and Foun- 



216 LETTERS 

tain of all goodness. As for my assistance, doubt 
not, through God's blessing, but it shall be to the 
full; and for my power, I have sent my letters 
to your brother, investing him in all that I have. 
[And so he goes on in his advice for the ordering 
of things to that business.] 

To THE Right Hon. the Lady Anne, Countess 
OF Pembroke^ and Montgomery, at Court. 

Madam, 

What a trouble hath your goodness brought on 
you, by admitting our poor services! now they 
creep in a vessel of metheglin,^ and still they will be 
presenting or wishing to see if at length they may 
find out something not unworthy of those hands at 
which they aim. Li the mean time a priest's bless- 
ing, though it be none of the court style, yet 
doubtless, madam, can do you no hurt. Wherefore 
the Lord make good the blessing of your mother ^ 
upon you and cause all her wishes, diligence, 
prayers, and tears, to bud, blow, and bear fruit in 
your soul, to His glory, your own good, and the 
great joy of, madam, your most faithful servant in 
Christ Jesu, 

George Herbert. 

Dec. 10, 1631. Bemerton. 

Madam, Your poor colony of servants present 
their humble duties. 



EXTRACTED FROM THE PRINCIPAL 

REGISTRY OF HER MAJESTY'S 

COURT OF PROBATE 

(IN THE PREROGATIVE COURT OF CANTER- 
BURY, AO. DNI. 1632) 

[First printed by Dr. Grosart in his Edition of Herbert's Works in The 
Fuller Worthies' Ldbrary] 

I GEORGE HERBERT commending my soule 
and body to Almightie God that made them doe 
thus dispose of my goodes. I giue all my goodes 
both within doores and without doores both mon- 
neys and bookes and howshould stuffe whether in 
my possession or out of my possession that properly 
belonge to me vnto my deare wife excepting onely 
these legacies hereafter insuing. First there is 
seaven hvndred poundes in Mr. Thomas Lawleys 
handes a Merchant of London which fell to me 
by the death of my deare neece Mrs. Dorothy 
Vaughan whereof two hvndred poundes belonges 
to my two Neeces that survive and the rest unto 
my selfe : this whole sum of five hvndred pounds 
I bequeath vnto my Neeces equally to be devided 
betweene them excepting some legacies of my de- 
ceased Neece which are to be payd out of it vnto 
some whose names shall be annexed vnto this bill. 



218 THE WILL 

Then I bequeath twenty pounds vnto the poore of 
this parish to be devided according to my deare 
wiues discretion. Then I bequeath to Mr Hays 
the Comment of Lucas Brugensis vpon the Scrip- 
ture and his halfe yeares wages aforehand. then I 
bequeath to Mr. Bostocke St. Augustines Workes 
and his halfe yeares wages aforehand, then I leave 
to my servant EHzabeth her dubble wages giuen 
her, three pound more besides that which is due 
to her; to Ann I leave thirty shilhnges: to Marga- 
ret twenty shilhnges : to WilKam Twenty Nobles, 
to John twentie shillinges, all these are over and 
aboue their wages: To Sara thirteene shilKnges 
foure pence, Alsoe my Will and pleasure is that 
Me. Woodnoth should be mine Executor to whome 
I bequeath twenty pound, whereof fifteene pound 
shall be bestowed vppon Leighton Church, the other 
five pound I giue to himselfe. Lastlie I besech Sir 
John Danvers that he would be pleased to be 
Overseer of this Will — 

George Herbert. 

(Testes) Nathaniell Bostocke — Elizabeth 
Burden. 

On the other side are the names of those to 
whome my deceased Neece left legacy es. 

All those that are crost are discharged already, 
the rest are to be payd. 

To Mrcs Magdalen Vaughan one hvndred pound 
To Mrs Catharine Vaughan one hvndred pound 
To Mr George Herbert one hvndred pound^ To 



THE WILL 219 

Mrs Beatrice Herbert forty pound ^ To Mrs Jane 
Herbert tenn pound^ To Mrs Danvers five pound^ 
To Amy Danvers thirty shillinges To Mrs Anne 
Danvers twenty shillinges To Mrs Mary Danvers 
twenty shilKnges To Mrs Michel twenty shillinges 
To Mrs EUzabeth Danvers Mr Henry Danvers 
wife twenty shilHnges, to the poore of the parish 
twenty pound ^ To my Lord of Cherbury tenn 
pound To Mr Bostocke forty shillinges^ To 
Ehzabeth Burthen thirty shillinges^ To Mary 
Gifford tenn shilHnges^ To Anne Hibbert tenn 
shiUinges^ To Willuam Scuce twenty shillinges^ 
To Mrs Judith Spencer five pound To Mary 
Owens forty shilhnges. To Mrs Mary Lawly fifty 
shilHnges^ To Mr Gardiner tenn pound MS. that 
the fine pound due to Mrs Judeth Spencer is to be 
payd to Mrs Mary Lawly at Chelsey MS. that 
there are diuers moneys of mine in Mr Stephens 
handes Stationer of London, having lately receaved 
an hvndred and two poundes besides some Re- 
mainders of monyes whereof he is to giue as I 
know he will a Just account : if there be any body 
els that owe me any thing else of old debt I forgiue 
them. 

PROBATUM fuit Testamentum suprascriptum 
apud London coram venerabiU viro magistro Wil- 
limo Mericke legum Doctore Surrogato venerabilis 
viri Domini Henrici Marten militis legum etiam 
doctoris Curiae Prerogative Cantuariensis Magis- 
teri Custodis sive Commissarij legitime constituti 



220 THE WILL 

duodecimo die mensis Martij Anno Domini juxta 
cursum et computaconem Ecclesie Anglicane Mil- 
lesimo sexcentesimo tricesimo secundo juramento 
Arthuri Woodnoth Executoris in hujusmodi Testa- 
ment© nominati cui commissa fuit administratio 
omnium et singulorum bonorum jurium et credi- 
torum dieti defuncti de bene et fideliter adminis- 
trando eadem ad Sancta Dei Evangelia in debita 
juris forma jurat. 



NOTES 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 

1, p. 15. Revoking =cal^ng back. 

2, p. 15. Colossians i, 2, 4. 

3, p. 15. T?ie Dignity. To a court friend who dissuaded 

Herbert from entering into sacred orders, as 
too mean an employment and too much be- 
low his birth, he repHed : It hath been formerly 
judged that the Domestick Servants of the King 
of Heaven should be of the noblest Families on 
Earth ; and though the Iniquity of the late 
Times have made Clergy-men meanly valued 
and the sacred name of Priest contemptible y 
yet I will labour to make it honourable by con- 
secrating all my learning and all my 'poor 
abilities to advance the glory of that God thai 
gave them : Walton's Life. 

1, p. 18. Keep up with=sia,nd up to. 

1, p. 19. Travell=\T2LV2i\\, labor. 

1, p. 21. The Parson's Knowledg. Be covetous of all 
good which you see in Frenchmen y whether 
it be in knowledge or in fashion or in words. 
Let there be no kind of excellency which it is 
possible for you to attain to, which you seek 
not : Herbert to his brother Henry. 

1, p. 22. Psahn cxix, 18. 



224 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

1, p. 26. The Parson' Praying, i. e. reading the service. 

2, p. 26. T?'eato6Ze= deliberate. 
1, p. 27. Slubbering =s\o\qtAy. 

1, p. 28. " Presented, i. e. to the Bishop or Archdea- 
con for offences against the Canons. Such 
presentations could be made by the minister, 
churchwardens, or sidesmen, but were usually 
made by the churchwardens. The offences 
for which presentations were made under the 
Canons of 1603 were such as the following: 
adultery, drunkenness, swearing, usury, non- 
attendance at Holy Communion, having chil- 
dren baptized out of the parish, disturbing 
divine service, etc. : " H. C. Beeching. 

1; p. 30. **Hermogenes, a Rhetorician of Tarsus in the 
reign of Marcus Aurelius. He describes and 
gives 'precepts' for seven 'characters of good 
oratory, such as perspicuity, elegance,* etc. : " 
H. C. Beeching. 

1, p. 35. Induce =iniToduce, bring it in. 

1, p. 38. Lusty=joyous, strong. ^ 

1, p. 39. Experiment= experience. 

1, p. 40. By his eare. This would suggest that it was 

their parents' choice, rather than their 6wn 
headlong emotion, which brought Herbert 
and Jane Danvers together after a three days' 
acquaintance. 

2, p. 40. Account. "And he was most happy in his 

Wife's unforc'd compHance with his acts of 
Charity, whom he made his Almoner and paid 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 225 

constantly into her hand a tenth penny of 
what money he receiv'd for Tythe and gave 
her a power to dispose a tenth part of the Corn 
that came yearly into his Barn, which trust 
she did most faithfully perform and would 
often offer to him an account of her steward- 
ship: " Walton's Life. 

1, p. 41. Meets imth= contends against. 

2, p. 41. His children. Herbert had none. 

1, p. 42. Happily =hap\y, perhaps. 

2, p. 42. " Chamber of London. The allusion is obvi- 

ously to the ancient custom of this city called 
'Orphanage.' By that custom the estates of 
all freemen dying intestate vested in the 
Court of Mayor and Aldermen, who were by 
the custom guardians of the children. They 
fed, boarded, clothed, and educated them, 
and provided dowers for the daughters at 
marriage ; set the sons up in business, and 
divided the estate when they attained their 
majority. The estate being realized, the pro- 
ceeds were paid into the 'Chamber of Lon- 
don' to the custody of the 'Chamberlain,* 
who is a 'corporation sole' for these pur- 
poses. He made use of the money for city 
purposes, allowing £4 per cent interest to 
the estate. As there were neither government 
securities nor banks in George Herbert's days, 
and the Bank of England had not been 
founded, the term 'Chamber of London' 



226 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

would have the force of any expression of the 
present day implying undoubted security:" 
A. B. Grosart. 
1, p. 43. '^ Takes account of Sermons. It was the cus- 
tom in many households even of the last 
generation to require an epitome of the ser- 
mon: " H. C. Beeching. 

1, p. 44. Boards a cMcZ= approaches, ranks as ; cf. 

The Church-Porch, III, 57, 1. 368. 

2, p. 44. Back-side=haLck-yaTd. Dr. Grosart quotes 

from Vaughan's Looking Back, "How brave 
a prospect is a bright back-side." 

1, p. 45. With these prescriptions for fasting compare 
Herbert's poem Lent, III, 171. 
- 1, p. 46. "Roots : as potatoes, which first came to 
England in Herbert's youth : " A. B. Grosart. 

1, p. 50. Pre5en%= immediately, without postpone- 
ment. 

1, p. 53. Incense. Isaiah Ixvi, 3. 

1, p. 54. The middle way, more precisely described in 
The British Church, V, 101. 

1, p. 55. Afternoons: his mornings being given to study. 

1, p. 58. Nothing is little, the subject of The Elixee, 
III, 99. 

1, p. 61. The Countrey Parson is. The emphasis falls 
on is. 

1, p. 62. In 1640 a collection of proverbs was published 
under the title Outlandish Proverbs se- 
lected by Mr. G. H. In the second edition 
(1652) this title was changed to Jacula 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 227 

Prudentum : or outlandish proverbs, sen- 
tences, ETC. 
1, p. 64. C ensure =]udgment. 

1, p. 66. Set a<= assessed for, put down as capable of 

furnishing for the public service. 

2, p. 66. Respectively = with suitable respect, as in 

The Church-Porch, III, 45, 1. 253. 
1, p. 67. Brieje= an of^cial order that a collection be 

made. 
1, p. 69. Dischargeth. He himseK performs for his 

people the promises God has made them. 
1, p. 73. )Si//2/= uneducated. 
1, p. 74. /7it;erfi^= virtually, in substance. 

1, p. 76. Willingly = at times fixed by himself. 

2, p. 76. H. C. Beeching quotes : "Let priests also take 

care that they do not permit wanton names to 
be given to children, especially female chil- 
dren, in baptism:" Wilk. Cone, ii, 33. And 
R. A. Willmott quotes from Crabbe's Parish 
Register, Pt. I: 

"Pride Hves with all; strange names our rustics give 
To helpless infants, that their own may live; 
Pleased to be known, they'll some attention claim 
And find some by-way to the house of fame. 

*Why Lonicera willt thou name thy child?' 
I asked the gardener's wife in accents mild. 

'We have a right,' replied the sturdy dame, 
And Lonicera was the infant's name." 

1, p. 77. Cowrie = coarse. 

1, p. 78. ^* Loosely and vnldely =not in set form and 
sequence:" A. B. Grosart. 



228 THE COUNTRY PARSON 

2, p. 78. Puts up io= assumes himself to be. 

1, p. 80. Michael Dalton's The Country Justice was 

published in 1618, a fourth edition in 1630. 
1, p. 81. Tickle. Ed. 1671 reads ticklish, i. e. difficult. 

1, p. 82. Anatomy =eit}ieT a dissection, or a diagram of 

the human body. 

2, p. 82. John Francis Fernelius (1506-1558), physi- 

cian to Henry II of France. 

1, p. 83. Bolear7nena=an astringent Armenian earth. 

1, p. 85. Reduce =\ead back. 

1, p. 87. C ousters = construes. 

1, p. 90. Baned= diseased. In his Will Herbert re- 
membered his servants. 

1, p. 92. John Gerson (1363-1429), chancellor of the 
University of Paris. 

1, p. 94. Defixed=^Tm[y fixed. 

1, p. 95. Bold and impartial reproof. "There was not 
a man in his way (be he of what Ranke he 
would) that spoke awry (in order to God) but 
he wip'd his mouth with a modest, grave and 
Christian reproof:" Oley, Life of Herbert, 
prefixed to The Country Parson. 
1, p. 102. "Herbert's apologue raises more difficulties 
than it lays. Healthy children do not get 
worms from apples, if the apples are good; 
and what would the piece of gold mean to the 
child but more apples.?" H. C. Beeching. 
1, p. lOS. Exigent =e^gency; used again in second 

paragraph of the translation of Cornaro. 
1, p. 106. Idlenesse, cf. The Church-Porch, III, 23, 
1. 79-96. 



THE COUNTRY PARSON 229 

1, p. 108. Drowning =B.oodmg. 
1, p. 109. Nothing to that = nothing comparable. 
1, p. 110. Morning man = one who merely attends the 
regular morning sessions. 

1, p. 111. The Great Horse=a war horse, ridden in full 

armor. 

2, p. 111. Not weakned. Later editions read now. 
1, p. 112. Those new Plantations, i. e. America. 

1, p. 117. Hoopes =TesiTSiinis. 
1, p. 118. Joseph, Genesis xli, 35. 
1, p. 119. Success =fu\^\ment. 
1, p. 121. Onely= and that alone. 

1, p. 122. Procession =*' heating the bounds" or walking 

in religious procession to mark out the parish 
boundaries. 

2, p. 122. Mislikes= takes it in ill part. 

1, p. 124. Niceness= disposition to refine overmuch. 

1, p. 125. Ill Priests mayhlesse. The 26th of the 39 Arti- 

cles is entitled, "Of the unworthiness of the 
ministers, which hinders not the effect of the 
Sacrament." 

2, p. 125. Commination. The English Prayer Book (not 

the American) has a special service of "Com- 
mination or denouncing of God's anger and 
judgments against sinners." 
1, p. 126. In writing Letters. H. C. Beeching remarks 
that only two complete letters of Herbert writ- 
ten from Bemerton are preserved, one to 
Ferrar and one to the Countess of Pembroke, 
and each concludes with a blessing. 



230 PRAYERS 

Prayers Before and After Sermon 

Dr. Grosart prints the following note: "With 
reference to these prayers, they first appeared 
in Herbert's Remains (1652). Mr. Yeowell 
doubted their genuineness on this ground: 
*When it is remembered how punctiliously 
George Herbert walked according to canoni- 
cal rule in small as in great matters, it seems 
highly improbable that he would use these 
two unauthorized prayers in divine service.' 
(N. & Q. 2d S. iii, p. 88.) Professor Mayor 
answered (ib. p. 120): * Perhaps the Prayers 
before and after Sermon were intended for 
private use. Or, if not, I see nothing in The 
Country Parson or elsewhere to prove that 
Herbert would scruple to use prayers of his 
own composition before and after sermon ; 
and these prayers seem to be altogether in his 
tone.' Dr. Sibbes, Dr. Fuller, and many 
others had similar prayers." 



LETTERS 

1, p. 197. For an account of Herbert's stepfather, Sir 
John Danvers, see Introd. Essay, I, 24, and 
CoNSTANCiE, V, 119. Herbert makes him 
the executor of his Will. This letter send- 
mg thanks for the gift of a horse, which is 
mentioned in the next letter as already in 
use, was probably written a little earlier than 
that. 

1, p. 200. Written probably in 1617-8 (cf. with p. 201). 

Henry Herbert was two years younger than 
George. 

2, p. 200. Wink=io half close the eyes, as in Miserie, 

IV, 53, 1. 62. 

1, p. 201. Probably written before he obtained the Ora- 
torship, at which time his income was in- 
creased. The letter seems to connect itself 
with that of March 18, 1617-8, to his step- 
father, in which this increase of the annuity is 
first proposed. 

1, p. 202. Ancient. Sir John Danvers had married Her- 
bert's mother but eight years before. 

1, p. 204. The passage on the Oratorship shows this let- 
ter to have been written in 1619. 

1, p. 206. 200 miles. Is this the journey mentioned in 
the fourth letter to Sir John Danvers? 



232 LETTERS 

2, p. 206. Herbert's eldest sister, Elizabeth, born in 1583 
and married to Sir Henry Jones, was an in- 
valid during many years. 

1, p. 207. Bottome=a spool, as in The Discharge, 
V, 191, 1. 45. 

1, p. 208. Disquiet. Donne, in his funeral sermon on 
Lady Danvers, says that in her last years 
she was disposed to melancholy. To this 
disposition Herbert appears to address his 
letter. 

1, p. 209. Like to continue long. She did not die until 
1627. 

1, p. 211. This third sister was afterwards received at 
Bemerton. 

1, p. 212. Building y i. e. the rebuilding of the Rec- 

tory. 

2, p. 212. OwiZa7i6iz5/i,=foreign, and strange, as in Faith, 

IV, 29, 1. 9, and The British Church, V, 
101, 1. 10. 

1, p. 213. Duchess, i. e. the Duchess of Lenox, whose 
home was at Leighton. So, too, p. 215. 

1, p. 214. These letters to Ferrar must belong in the 
years 1628-32, the first one apparently to 
some early year within this period. 

1, p. 216. The Countess of Pembroke was Lady Anne 
Clifford, daughter of the third Earl of Cum- 
berland. Her first husband was the Earl of 
Dorset. After his death she married, in 1630, 
Philip, fourth Earl of Pembroke. His brutali- 
ties obliged her to separate from him. 



LETTERS 233 

2, p. 216. Metheglin, or mead = a liquor made of fer- 

mented honey. 

3, p. 216. Mother. Her mother was Lady Margaret 

Russell, daughter of the Duke of Bed- 
ford.